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441-00851 (Transportation)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English



  • No airline currently provides direct flight service between Vancouver, British Columbia and Amritsar, Punjab - a logical route the shortest physical distance between the international airports of YVR and ATQ;

  • Present flight options require a connection through Delhi, a detour roughly 400 kms south of Amritsar, which adds approximately 700 additional kilometers to an entire trip. In addition, many flights route through Toronto, adding over 3,300 unnecessary kilometres to an already incredibly long journey;

  • Reducing the kilometres needlessly travelled by implementing the shortest route (YVR>ATQ) will not only reduce trip length and improve passenger experience, but will save fuel and significantly reduce carbon emissions; and

  • Numerous Canadian citizens and permanent residents travel between YVR & ATQ for business, pleasure, and family reasons: after India's complete COVID-19 lockdown during late March 2020, it was estimated that over 40,000 Canadian residents were stuck in Punjab.


We, the undersigned citizens and permanent residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to leverage its ownership of Air Canada shares to encourage the company to explore the implementation of direct flights between Vancouver, British Columbia and Amritsar, Punjab, should such a route prove economically viable.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Rob Oliphant

Canada already has a bilateral air transport agreement with India. This agreement offers capacity for flights by Indian airlines between Canada and Amritsar.

The Government of Canada takes note of the campaign advocating for direct flights between Canada and Amristar, India, and is aware of the importance of this issue for many Canadians, especially those with ties to Punjab.

The Government of Canada is responsible for negotiating bilateral air transport agreements that include air access rights including number of flights per week, and destinations for both Canadian and foreign airlines. Through these agreements, the federal government provides the legal framework within which airlines make decisions based on their own commercial priorities, actual market demand, and the operational viability of routes. Ultimately, the locations that Canadian airlines decide to service, within the frameworks offered by the air transport agreements, are business decisions.

In November, the Minister of Transport announced an expanded ATA with India, that allowed designated airlines to operate an unlimited number of flights between the two countries. Canadian air carriers can operate own-aircraft services to Bangalore (Bengaluru), Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai, while Indian air carriers can operate own-aircraft services to Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, and two additional points to be selected by India. While agreement was not reached on access to additional cities during these negotiations, officials from both countries remain in contact to discuss further expansion of the ATA.

In the meantime, when operating code-share services, Amritsar continues to be available to Canadian carriers. Additionally, the agreement does not preclude Indian airlines from operating direct services to/from anywhere in India, including Amritsar, to Canada.

On May 30, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s External Affairs Minister. The ministers underscored the long-standing friendship of the two countries, built on strong commercial, cultural and people-to-people ties. The 1.4 million Canadians who claim Indian heritage form a deep bond between the two countries. The ministers emphasized areas of future collaboration such as tackling climate change, working towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, expanding the Canada-India Transport Agreement and creating opportunities for growth and ensure prosperity and a sustainable future. They affirmed the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region that is founded on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. The ministers agreed to deepen cooperation in all facets of the bilateral relationship.

On June 23, 2022, the Minister of Foreign Affairs also had the opportunity to meet with her Indian counterpart on the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali. Both ministers discussed, among other things, the advancement of the strategic partnership and multilateral cooperation.

Canada’s new Indo-Pacific Strategy, launched on November 27, 2022, recognizes India as a critical partner for Canada. It commits to supporting bilateral people-to-people connections through new investments in Canada’s visa-processing capacity in New Delhi and Chandigarh, and expanded academic, educational, cultural, youth and research exchanges. It also commits the Government to facilitating travel to and from the Indo-Pacific region using different tools, including new and modernized Air Transport Agreements.

Presented to the House of Commons
Brad Vis (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon)
November 21, 2022 (Petition No. 441-00851)
Government response tabled
January 30, 2023
Photo - Brad Vis
Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon
Conservative Caucus
British Columbia

236 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.