Bhubaneswar: With garnering success in providing daily air service to Kuala Lumpur from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here, the low-cost airline AirAsia has next project to launch direct flight to Bangkok.
The flight service to Bangkok from Bhubaneswar airport is expected to be launched by March 2018.
An MoU in this regard is likely to be signed between Odisha Tourism department and Thai AirAsia in December.
Sources said that Thai AirAsia of AirAsia Group is willing to launch flight operation to Bangkok from Bhubaneswar on condition of receiving Rs 1.70 lakh as subsidy per flight service. The Tourism department of Odisha government has also agreed with AirAsia on the condition to provide the airline subsidy. The department has sent the file to the finance department following approval by Minister Ashok Panda. Later, the proposal will be forwarded to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for final approval. Following consent from CM, the MoU will be signed between Tourism department and Thai AirAsia in first or second week of December this year.
After the MoU, the AirAsia will carry out the process for ground staff appointment, ticket booking, check-in counter, luggage scanning, security survey and other ground work that may take at least two months. The aviation company will launch flight service to Bangkok within 60-75 days of signing the MoU.
Initially, the AirAsia will operate a 180-seat flight to Bangkok for four days in a week. The international flight will take off late night.
On the other hand, AirAsia had filed an application seeking permission from DGCA. After receiving the nod, the company will give a schedule chart to the Bhubaneswar airport authority about commencement of the flight service to Bangkok.
The Bhubaneswar airport is well prepared for international flight operation. Since a large number of air passengers on the flight to Kuala Lumpur from Bhubaneswar are found to visit other destinations like Bangkok and Singapore in South-East Asian countries, many foreign tourists are also visiting Bhubaneswar. The flight to Bangkok will attract more tourists to come here, a senior official in the Tourism department said.