After the successful launch of the direct flight service to Kuala Lumpur from Bhubaneswar, the Odisha government on Wednesday sought Centre’s nod for direct air connectivity to Dubai from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA).
Chief Secretary AP Padhi made this demand to Coordination Secretary in the Union Cabinet Secretariat Asha Ram Sihag through video conferencing.
“Direct air connectivity to Dubai is one of our key demands for last several years. Direct international flight from/to gulf countries is restricted to 18 places and Bhubaneswar is not part of those places. If air service to Dubai is ensured, passengers can go to US and European countries directly from the city,” chief secretary told reporters after the meeting.
Asked about the Centre’s response, the chief secretary said though they have not immediately accepted the proposal, they have assured to consider it seriously.
Even though there is no direct air connectivity to gulf countries, nearly 10,000 Odia people including workforce, tourists and business community visit Dubai and other middle-east countries every year, industries sources said.
“Having direct flight service to Dubai would help Odisha to attract tourists from European countries. Tourists from European countries visiting Odisha, now depend on Kolkata airport in absence of direct flight service to the city. Low cost air carrier FlyDubai has also evinced interest to start operation from the city,” well known tour operator Benjamin Simon said.
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