Bhubaneswar: Expressing serious concern over suspension of flights from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok and Bengaluru, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Centre to restore the services by Air India on these routes.
In a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, Patnaik urged him to impress the Air India management to restore the operations and also explore the possibility to start international operations from Bhubaneswar to other South East Asian countries considering the immense potential in these routes.
With the operation of first international flight from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok in December 2017, Air India was expected to expand its flight services to other international destinations.
However, the suspension of flight services to Bangkok from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) would affect the tourism sector in Odisha.
“It may be recalled, although, Bhubaneswar airport got international tag on October 30, 2010, the international flight from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok was flagged off only on December 10, 2017. It was expected that Air India would subsequently expand its operations to other destinations like Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka etc. But, the abrupt suspension of the existing operations has been a severe jolt to the Aviation and Tourism sector in the State,” Patnaik wrote.
Similarly, the withdrawal of the domestic flight between Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar has come as setback for the IT industry in the State, the CM wrote in the letter.