Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday expressed concern over the suspension of direct flight operations from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), Bhubaneswar to Bangkok and Bengaluru by the Air India and urged the Centre to restore the services on these routes.
In a letter to Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, Patnaik said that it is a matter of serious concern that recently the Air India has suspended the direct flight services from Bhubaneswar-Bangkok and Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru.
“It may be recalled that, although Bhubaneswar Airport got the international tag on October 30, 2010, the international flight from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok by Air India was flagged off only on December 10, 2017. It was expected that Air India would subsequently expand its operations to other destinations like Singapore, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. But, the abrupt suspension of the existing operations has been a severe jolt to the Aviation and Tourism sector in the state,” Patnaik wrote.
“Similarly, the withdrawal of the domestic flight between Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar has come as a setback for the IT industry in the state,” the CM added.
The CM urged Prabhu to impress the Air India management to restore these operations forthwith and also explore the possibility to start international operations from Bhubaneswar to other South East Asian countries considering the immense potential in these routes.