Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 8:
Direct flight service between Biju Patnaik Internataional Airport (BPIA) in Odisha capital and Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi was launched by state-owned national carrier Air India today.
The Air India plane AI-419 arrived at BPIA at 2 pm with 32 passengers on board. The passengers were received by Tourism and Culture Ashok Chandra Panda. Tourism Secretary LN Gupta, Tourism Director Anil Kumar Samal, Bhubaneswar Mayor Anant Narayan Jena, MLA Priyadarshi Mishra and BPIA Director Sharad Kumar were present on the occasion.
The return flight AI-420 left at scheduled time (2.45 pm) with 40 passengers.
The carrier will operate four days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
As per schedule, the Air India flight (AI-419) would leave Varanasi at 12.30 pm and land at the Biju Patnaik International Airport at 2 pm. The return flight (AI-420) would leave for Varanasi at 2.45 pm from here and reach Varanasi at 4.15 pm.
The air linkage to Varanasi is expected to increase tourist footfall in the state.
It may be mentioned that Air India would promote Odisha Tourism Development Corporation’s (OTDC) tour packages from within the country and abroad from December 1. For this, OTDC has entered into an agreement with the air carrier.
Bookings for the OTDC packages will be available at Air India’s website from December 1 this year.