Bhubaneswar: Direct air services between Bhubaneswar and Surat took off with an Air India (AI) flight leaving the Biju Patnaik International Airport for the Gujarat city on Sunday morning.
According to reports, Air India flight A320 left the airport at 8:40 AM with 81 passengers.
The director of Biju Patnaik International Airport, Baruda Venkateshwara Rao, informed that AI will operate the direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Surat twice a week.
“The flight will leave Bhubaneswar airport on Monday and Thursday at 8.40 am and reach Surat at 10.40 am. Similarly, the flight will leave Surat airport on Friday and Sunday at 8.40 am and reach Bhubaneswar airport at 10.40 am,” Rao added.
He said AI may increase the flight frequency subject to passenger turnout. “Around 10 lakh Odias stay in Surat. They will definitely prefer a 2-hour flight rather than spending 30 hours travelling by train,” he said.
Notably, BJP leader Aprajita Sarangi had requested the Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to launch a direct flight between Surat and Bhubaneswar for the benefit of non-resident Odias.
The Bhubaneswar MLA had made the request during a meeting in New Delhi on July 22, 2019. The minister had assured her to look into the matter.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had tweeted his gratitude to Puri for giving the go-ahead for the direct AI flight from Bhubaneswar to Surat in October last year.