Bhubaneswar: The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) will get its second direct international flight December 10. This Air India flight will connect the city to Bangkok.
Currently, BPIA offers direct international flights to Kuala Lumpur. This flight by AirAsia which started in April is also getting a good response.
According to the schedule released by Air India, the twice weekly international flight will be available Thursdays and Sundays. As per schedule, the Bangkok-Bhubaneswar flight will take off from Bangkok at 5:40 am and reach Bhubaneswar by 7 am. Similarly the Bhubaneswar-Bangkok flight will take off from BPIA at 3:45 pm and will reach Bangkok by 8:15 pm.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik welcomed the initiative of Air India. “Strengthening Orissa’s position as the new gateway to the East, Air India has announced direct flights from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok from December 10. Expansion of international air connectivity will give a big boost to tourism, trade and ties with South East Asian countries,” Patnaik tweeted.
Airline sources said booking has already started and Air India is getting a positive response. But, top officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) refused comment as they are yet to receive confirmation from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). But, AAI officials informed Orissa POST that they are expecting the confirmation from DGCA soon.
Passenger traffic at the city airport grew at the rate of 23.11 per cent last year and cargo traffic at the rate 19.10 per cent. Sources said BPIA officials are in talks with major airlines for international operations.
BPIA has also decided to offer more facilities at its terminal to improve passenger experience. The AAI has also decided to allow food and beverage outlets in Terminal-1. Details of the tender are available on the AAI website www.aai.aero