Odisha: Indigo to start flights to Dubai, Singapore soon from Bhubaneswar
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured the Odia diaspora during an investors’ meet at Dubai on June 29 that a direct flight between Dubai and Bhubaneswar would start soon.
Published: 28th December 2022 11:38 AM | Last Updated: 28th December 2022 11:38 AM | A+A A-
BHUBANESWAR: The much-awaited direct flight service from Bhubaneswar to Dubai and Singapore is going to be a reality soon. The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday approved the bid of Indigo airlines to operate flights on the two routes along with Bangkok.
Last month, the state government invited a request for quotation (RFQ) for the selection of airlines to have a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and international destinations. Only Indigo had evinced interest in operating direct flights on the three routes with three flights a week including the weekends.
Chief secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said direct flight service to international destinations like Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok is essential to make Odisha a leading state in business and tourism.
“The connection to Dubai will open up the entire western side of the world and Singapore and Bangkok will open up the entire eastern side. This will make travel for the people of Odisha more friendly and also economical. It will be helpful for non-resident Odias,” he said.
As per the bid proposal, 186 seater flight will be operated from Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar and the expenditure towards flight operation will be borne by the state government. In lieu, the revenue generated through ticketing will be retained by the state government.
International travellers from the state continue to depend on Kolkata or Delhi as there is no direct flight to any foreign destination from the city now. While the flights between Bhubaneswar and Kuala Lumpur introduced by AirAsia in 2017 were suspended prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, flight operation between Bhubaneswar and Bangkok was discontinued in 2019 after a year of service.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured the Odia diaspora during an investors’ meeting at Dubai on June 29 that a direct flight between Dubai and Bhubaneswar would start soon. Accordingly, Rs 100 crore was earmarked for viability gap funding. The state government has also reduced the VAT on aviation turbine fuel to zero per cent for direct international flights. The selected airline will have to commence flight operations within a period of 60 days from the issuance of the letter of award.