Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 15:
The much-awaited air service to International destinations from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Odisha capital may become a reality as services to destinations like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur is likely to begin from this July.
“International flight operations from BPIA will begin soon. For this, preparation at our end is over. We have also given green signal to Silk Air. The carrier is awaiting Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approval. We have written to the DGCA authorities for expediting the clearance process. If all goes well then air service to Singapore will start from July this year,” BPIA Director R Mahalingam said.
Besides Silk Air, AirAsia has also evinced interest to start International operations from here.
“AirAsia is also interested to launch its flight service to Kuala Lumpur. For this, the carrier has finished all the formalities. DGCA clearance is also pending for Air Asia. Once the approval is done, services can be started within a month,” Mahalingam added.
Notably, AirAsia had announced the launch of its Bhubaneswar-Kuala Lumpur service from December 15 last year.
The top official of the city airport took over as the Director of BPIA here last Friday.
Elaborating the expansion plans, Mahalingam, further added that impetus is being given to increase the footfall here, especially from Southern Indian cities. For this, air services to Coimbatore, Bangalore, Chennai and Trivandrum will be started soon.
Recently, domestic carrier Indigo Airlines has sought approval from the regulatory authority to start services from Jaipur to Bhubaneswar. We expect the tourist inflow to increase with the air connectivity to the Pink city, Mahalingam expressed.
It may be recalled that a delegation from Silk Air had visited BPIA to inspect the facilities at the airport in October last year.
While the airline has already obtained permission from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it would soon get the clearance from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Following this, the carrier will submit a flight schedule to the BPIA authorities.