Bhubaneswar, July 20 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to direct Air India to restore direct flight services on the Bhubaneswar-Bangkok and Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru routes.
In a letter to Prabhu, the Chief Minister also asked him to explore the possibility of starting international operations from Bhubaneswar to other South East Asian countries considering the immense potential in these routes.
“It is a matter of serious concern that very recently Air India has suspended the direct flight services from Bhubaneswar-Bangkok and Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru,” wrote Patnaik.
Although Bhubaneswar Airport got the international tag on October 30, 2010, the international flight from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok by Air India 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 and Sri Lanka. But the abrupt suspension of the existing operations has been a severe jolt to the Aviation and Tourism sector in the state,” said the Chief Minister.
Similarly, the withdrawal of the domestic flight between Bengaluru and Bhubaneswar has come as a setback for the IT industry in the state, he added.