Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre for the introduction of international flights from Bhubaneswar.
In a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Naveen said that a sizeable Odia diaspora is engaged in information-technology, avionics, manufacturing and services in countries like the United States of America and Europe and substantial workmen from the state are working in many Middle-East countries.
“Therefore, the introduction of international flights from Bhubaneswar will provide convenience and comfort to people of the State,” he wrote.
While domestic flight connectivity had seen a noticeable improvement, there was still scope to increase international connectivity, the CM further said.
“At present, only one direct flight is operational for the international route. Apart from this, some international destinations are covered either through Delhi/Kolkata hub. This is quite inadequate in catering to an aspirational class,” he added.
Naveen also wrote on how Odisha was fast emerging as a popular tourist destination. Referring to different places of tourist interest in the state, he said, “We are coming up with many such innovative products, which I am sure will be lapped up by the international tourists and tour operators.”
He also urged the Centre for early Regional Connectivity under UDAN (Ude Desh Ki Aam Nagrik) to two airstrips, Jeypore and Rourkela, which is one of the places hosting the World Cup Hockey matches in 2023.
The CM also invited the Minister and officials of this Ministry, and the CEOs of major airlines to study the viability of Bhubaneswar as a favoured international destination. “My government will provide the necessary support for not only developing infrastructure for aviation but also consider incentives in the shape of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for the airline operations. Looking forward to hosting you and your team in Bhubaneswar soon,” he added.