Ramakanta Biswas

The Steel City of Rourkela has finally joined the aviation map of Odisha with the launch of the much-awaited commercial flight operations on Saturday. 

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia inaugurated the first direct flight to Rourkela from Bhubaneswar through video conferencing. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and MP Aparajita Sarangi flagged off the service. 

Rourkela, which is hosting the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2023, became the fourth city in the State to have scheduled flights after Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda and Jeypore.

Speaking about the inauguration of the direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela, Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia wrote, “This route, being started under the UDAN scheme, is an important flight from the perspective of development of mineral industry as well as the Hockey World Cup 2023 starting January 13.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, "Aspirations of people of Rourkela and Odisha take yet another flight." He added that 'Prime Minister Narendra Modi  ji yet again delivers his promise to the people of Odisha.'

Alliance Air will operate the flight service between Bhubaneswar and Rourkela with a capacity of 72 passengers.

While the inaugural flight took off today, the routine flight services will start from January 12.

An ATR-72 aircraft of Alliance Air will take off from Bhubaneswar at 02:55 pm everyday and arrive at Rourkela at 03:50 pm. On its return journey the flight will take off from Rourkela at 04:15 pm and arrive in Bhubaneswar at 05:10 pm.

As far as the fare is concerned, the Bhubaneswar – Rourkela fare has been set at Rs 2803 and the return fare is priced at Rs 2721.