Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 22:
International air travel facilities from Odisha’s Biju Patnaik International Airport, at present restricted to two Air India (AI) flights, may soon be available on all Air India flights from the city.
A proposal in this regard has been submitted to the Bhubaneswar airport authorities and international travel facilities would be offered to passengers if the latter give permission, Air India has said.
International travel facilities include customs, immigration, animal and plant quarantine facilities for passengers from Bhubaneswar going abroad via New Delhi or Mumbai on its flights, the state carrier has said.
“Everyday, hundreds of passengers fly to Mumbai and New Delhi via various flights and travel abroad from there. This is the reason we are trying to offer the services from Bhubaneswar on all Air India flights,” said an Air India executive.
As of now, these facilities are available only on Air India flight AI-077 and AI-078 that goes from Bhubaneswar to Delhi and vice versa.
As per Air India sources, the operator is trying to offer these services on priority on the New Delhi bound flight that departs from Bhubaneswar at 9 PM. As this flight arrives at the IGI airport at 11:10 PM, the passengers with completed customs, immigration and other necessary checks would be able to fly abroad in flights that leave IGI between 12-2 AM.
This is going to be particularly beneficial for the passengers travelling to Gulf countries.
Also, Air India is mulling offering these services on AI-878 that leaves for New Delhi at 9:55 AM and AI-670 that leaves for Mumbai at 1:10 PM at a later stage.
This will also enable inbound passengers to arrive in Bhubaneswar directly instead of getting down in Mumbai for the custom checks.
Apart from passenger convenience, this will link the airports more efficiently and flights originating from Delhi and Mumbai will be able to attract more international passengers.