New Delhi: The Centre has indicated the possibility of starting a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik drew the attention of the Civil Aviation Ministry last week about the growing demand for direct air connectivity between the two cities.
Replying to a debate during the passage of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri said the Indian carriers had no constraints for starting a direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Dubai as they had surplus capacity to the Middle East.
On Monday, Odisha Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev had also told a tourism conclave here that flights to Dubai and Singapore from Bhubaneswar would start soon.
The Civil Aviation Minister’s reply, however, also sought to underline the fact that it was up to the airlines to take a call on the issue.
What did he say…
“…any Indian carrier can mount a flight any day between Bhubaneswar and Dubai, because they have surplus capacity on the Middle East sector. I would be happy to say that this is going to be the lines of my reply to honourable Chief Minister,” the Minister said.
He was responding to Amar Patnaik (BJD), who had drawn the Minister’s attention to the CM’s letter in this regard.
An air of Excitement…
Ever since the CM’s communication to the Civil Aviation Ministry, there is a palpable excitement about the possibility of a direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Dubai to cater to the large number of Odia-speaking people residing there and in other Mid-East countries.
Why Dubai is important…
Dubai acts a major hub of multiple carriers flying out to the European countries and to the United States. Therefore, a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai would also help a large number of people from Odisha use Dubai as a transit hub for travelling to the West.
In his letter to the Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri last week, Naveen had requested to start a direct flight between the two cities keeping in mind the growing demand for the sector.
Some are equally apprehensive about the international service as several requests earlier from the State Government to the Centre about connecting places such as Singapore and Colombo had come a cropper.