Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre for introduction of direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Dubai.
In a letter to Union minister of state for civil aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, Mr Patnaik on Friday stated that there has been a significant rise in traffic to various international destinations from Odisha.
The rise in traffic is mainly due to industrial investments and tourist footfalls while several international airlines have evinced interest to start their operations from Biju Patnaik International Airport to Dubai.
“However, restriction on landing rights has been a deterrent for such operations by international airlines. In the absence of direct flights from the state to other international destinations like Dubai and Middle East countries, the passengers face immense difficulty to go to the desired destinations. This can be addressed, if air connectivity is established between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, which also serves as an international hub for passengers for travelling to other international destinations,” wrote Mr Patnaik in the letter.
Although Air India has international flights from Bhubaneswar to Middle East via New Delhi, it is a costlier and time-consuming option.
As there is sufficient passenger load, a direct flight is felt necessary between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, he mentioned.
“I would request you to impress upon Air India or any other Airlines to introduce direct international flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai to meet the growing demand of people of Odisha for International travel,” Mr Patnaik added.