Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 27:
After a long wait, the first direct international flight took off from Biju Patnaik International Airport in Odisha capital late night yesterday with 159 passengers on board to Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
The Air Asia flight was scheduled to depart from Bhubaneswar at 11.55 pm to Kuala Lumpur, but took off at around 12.45 am. The passengers had to wait for around one hour to fly international destination from the temple city. They received warm welcome from the airport employees as the first flyers on the flight to Malaysia.
The first flight AK 31 arrived here at 12.25 am, around 50 minutes delay, with 95 passengers from Kuala Lumpur. After landing in Bhubaneswar, AK 30 flew to Kuala Lumpur with 159 passengers on board.
To commemorate the occasion, the T2 terminal was decorated with colourful lights. The passengers were welcomed with music and traditional way. Culture & Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Bhubaneswar airport director R Mahalingam and other dignitaries provided the passengers boarding pass.
With the operation of Air Asia direct flight to Malaysia, many Buddhist tourists will visit Odisha and State’s tourism industry will be developed, said Panda.
Notably, the flight will be operated four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight will take off at 10.10 pm from Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar and land at 11.25 pm here. Similarly, it will board at 11.55 pm from Bhubaneswar and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.20 am as per their local time.