Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 8:
Air Asia could soon launch international flights from Odisha’s Biju Patnaik International Airport to Kuala Lumpur and over 100 other destinations.
The company’s representatives will meet the Chief Secretary of Odisha Gokul Pati and officials of the Bhubaneswar based airport today to work out the details.
“We are going to discuss the infrastructure and other benefits they expect from us, the minimum timeframe to start the service, the frequency of flights, fares etc with the airline representatives. If everything goes well, we expect the flight service to begin within the next five to six weeks,” said Director of the Airport Sharad Kumar.
International flight connectivity to the airport is going to attract a lot of visitors to the Buddhist heritage circle in the state. Besides, the upcoming Nabakalebara of Lord Jagannath will also attract large number of tourists, argues Kumar.
“We are also going to explore how we can attract more tourists to the Buddhist pilgrimage destinations of Odisha and ways to ensure tour operators provide world-class service in the meeting. Connectivity with South-East Asian nations will be a major focus,” he added.
As per information provided by him, Air Asia wants to use the airport for connecting to over 100 destinations, including some in Germany, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea.
It may be noted that the State Government has been trying hard to attract international operators since the state’s lone airport got international status without much luck. The efforts have peaked in recent months given lakhs of tourists that are expected in the state during the Nabakalebara.
While the Chief Secretary held a meeting with airline operators in Delhi last month, separate meetings have been ongoing with interested parties ever since.