Bhubaneswar: Union Steel and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has shot off a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri seeking his personal intervention for introduction of direct flight services between Bhubaneswar and Ras Al Khaimah in United Arab Emirates (UAE).
In the letter, Pradhan mentioned that there has been a steady growth in the number of foreign passengers, especially tourists and NRIs ever since international operations commenced at Bhubaneswar Airport in 2015. There is a strong demand from NRI Odia community and Odias working in the middle-east for a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaimah, UAE, he added.
“A direct connection between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaimah will immensely benefit the large number of Odia workers travelling to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Riyad, Bahrain and other Gulf cities,” said Pradhan.
Highlight that currently, there is only one direct international flight operated by Air Asia from Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Pradhan said, “It has come to my knowledge that SpiceJet Airlines has an MOU with UAE to start a new airline in Ras-Al-Khaimah. It shall be helpful if it can be recommended to SpiceJet to consider Ras-Al-Khaimah connectivity from Bhubaneswar. I request your personal intervention in commencement of a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaimah at the earliest. The proposed flight will also help strengthen our bilateral relationship with UAE and bolster the business between the two countries.”
Bhubaneswar Airport stands as one of India’s fastest growing airports, registering a growth rate of 41% in 2017-18 and grossing over 32 lakh footfalls. A slew of passenger convenience and airport expansion projects is currently underway which will further boost air traffic to Bhubaneswar Airport, the letter read.