BHUBANESWAR: Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday flagged off the direct flight service between Bhubaneswar and Jaipur in Rajasthan in virtual mode.
Speaking on the occasion, Scindia said the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) is now linked to 19 different cities of the country through 38 aircraft.
"The new flights on the route will facilitate seamless movement of passengers and give a boost to tourism increasing the economic activity of the two regions. Steps will be taken to connect Bhubaneswar with more cities in the coming days,” he said.
Efforts are on to scale up the passenger handling capacity of the terminals at BPIA from existing 25 lakh to 35 lakh in the coming years at an investment of Rs 200 crore, Scindia said.
The Minister thanked Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw for their role in the commencement of direct flight service between the two cities.
Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to achieve the ambitious target of Net Zero Emissions by 2070, Scindia said the ministry aims to implement sustainable energy resources to make all airports in India green airports.
“I am proud to mention that Bhubaneswar airport is 80% powered by solar energy, making it a stellar example for the country. Moreover, UDAN airports such as Jharsuguda are a success on
their own,” he said.
Pradhan in his virtual address urged Scindia to expedite the development of airstrips at Jeypore, Rourkela, and other places of Odisha under UDAN to strengthen the civil aviation infrastructure in the state.
He also urged the Civil Aviation ministry to explore the use of drone technology to tap the premium market value of the organic produce of areas like the Koraput district in the state.
Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Diwali gift, Railway Minister Vaishnaw said the flight service between the temple city and the pink city will benefit the general public and also strengthen the tourism and cultural ties between the two states.
The direct flight service will be available from both directions thrice every week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The departure time of the flight from BPIA and Jaipur International Airport will be 9.20 pm and 6.30 pm respectively.
The introduction of the direct flight service between Bhubaneswar and Jaipur will bolster the airline’s domestic network and cut down the travel time between the two states by more than 50%, said Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer of IndiGo Sanjay Kumar.
Bhubaneswar MP Aparajita Sarangi, who was present during the event, urged the Civil Aviation Minister to commence direct flight service from the city to Jammu, Shirdi, and Guwahati.
BPIA director Pravat Ranjan Beuria informed that IndiGo will also commence direct flight services between Bhubaneswar and Goa from December.
Minister Ashok Chandra Panda and Rajya Sabha members Sasmit Patra and Sujeet Kumar also joined the virtual flagging-off ceremony at BPIA.