Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 28:
A day after launching first direct international flight to Malaysia from Odisha capital, AirAsia is planning to operate daily flight to the destination from September this year.
AirAsia will approach the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) soon for operating daily flight to Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from Biju Patnaik International Airport, AirAsia sources said.
The aviation company is also likely to launch domestic flight to Bhubaneswar from either New Delhi or Bengaluru very soon.
The announcement will be made very soon in this regard, informed AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Aireen Omar.
Addressing a press conference at Mayfair hotel yesterday after the first direct flight to international destination took off from Bhubaneswar airport, Omar said, “Odisha is rich in view of tourism. We are planning to operate a number of flights from and to Bhubaneswar. In view of booking record, we are hopeful receive positive response in next six months. The passengers flying from Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur can easily visit 21 locations including the countries like China, Australia, Thailand, Bangkok and New Zealand”.
“Passengers from Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Bangkok have booked tickets so far to visit Odisha. In view of response till the date, Odisha will turn the best destination for holidays in upcoming days”, Omar said.
On the other hand, AirAsia (India) is planning to provide domestic air service to various locations from Bhubaneswar facilitating the foreign passengers to visit India, he said.
Odisha Culture & Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, who was present at the press meet, said, “Earlier, our Odia traders were travelling to Java, Sumatra and Indonesia on sea route. With the operation of international flight to Malaysia, Odisha will revive its past heritage and will build good relation with South-east Asia countries”.
Notably, the first direct international flight took off from Biju Patnaik International Airport late night on April 26 with 159 passengers on board to Kuala Lumpur. The flight will be operated four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight will take off at 10.10 pm from Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar and land at 11.25 pm here. Similarly, it will board at 11.55 pm from Bhubaneswar and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.20 am as per their local time.