Air India has said it is “trying its best” to restore the direct link to India that was withdrawn from Birmingham towards the end of last year.
The Birmingham International Airport to Amritsar route was withdrawn by Air India last year, leaving the city without a single direct, non-stop route to India.
Air India had said it planned to restart the route this spring, but the hopes of travellers were dashed when it emerged the plans to return had not been carried through.
Politicians and business leaders have been courting the Indian government to relax competition laws that stop other airports replacing the route.
But a spokesman for Air India said the firm had not given up on Birmingham, and was looking for ways to restore the route.
He said: “We are trying our best to get the route back to Birmingham, and we are hopeful. It depends on multiple factors.
“We are going to expand the sector, there are a whole load of factors to take account of, and we are trying to protect Birmingham.
“We still have our local office up and running, and we have not abandoned Birmingham.”
Birmingham International Airport has also said it is optimistic about getting Air India back in at the airport.
Currently the only direct routes from Birmingham to India involve stops in Vienna, Bratislava or Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Regulations set by the Indian government mean no other airline can fly direct from Birmingham to India. The airport has spoken to other airlines – including Indian carrier Jet – about the possibility of replacing the route.
Business campaigners, including the Birmingham and Solihull Chamber have been trying to get the Indian government to relax the rules.
And West Midlands MEP Neena Gill said she plans to bring the matter up with the European Commission, saying India’s attitude breaches the spirit of a free trade agreement it signed with the EU.
Air India stopped its Birmingham-Amritsar service, which ran six times a week, in September saying it had to focus on Heathrow flights to keep its slots there open.
About 400,000 people of Indian descent are estimated to live in the West Midlands area, with a large proporting having links to the part of northern India served by the airport at Amritsar.