THE MP for Slough has successfully negotiated with the Indian authorities for the introduction of direct flights between the UK and Amritsar, India.

MP Tan Dhesi has approached a number of airlines about working out a deal, in order to ease transit to the city for members of the Punjabi community.

Mr Dhesi said: “During my trip to India, I spoke to the Indian Civil Aviation minister, Jayant Sinha, and cabinet member Vijay Sampla. The Indian ministers assured me this matter would be given serious consideration.

“The flights will start from Birmingham to begin with, as slots in Heathrow are much more expensive. I will continue to apply pressure for more flights.”

Mr Dhesi explained that the flights are to be hosted by Air India.

Mr Dhesi said: “Direct flights improve trade and tourism, which of course will work both ways. The Punjabi diaspora, be they Sikh, Hindu, Muslim, or Christian, will all benefit from more flights to the Amritsar region. For people with disabilities, the direct connection will make travel much easier.

“The flights are expected to start in early 2018 - hopefully London will not be too far behind.”