Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in the capital city of Odisha has added another feather to its hat, with the take-off of Bhubaneswar-Surat-Bhubaneswar direct flight service this morning.

As per reports, the flight operations set up by the PSU Carrier Air India to connect Bhubaneswar with the textile hub of Gujarat, Surat will take off every Monday and Thursday from Bhubaneswar airport at 8.40 AM and reach Surat at 10.40 AM.

Similarly, during its return journey, the flight will depart from Surat airport at 8.40 AM and reach BPIA at 10.40 AM on every Friday and Sunday, the airport authority informed.

Sources said that the economy class of the flight was fully booked both ways.

“We are very happy with the direct flight operations. Earlier, we had to go with a stop-over at Delhi. Now the time will be reduced to just two hours,” said a passenger.

Lok Sabha Member and BJP leader Aparajita Sarangi, who also boarded the Surat flight said, “We had been trying to start a direct flight to Surat from last three months. I would like to thank PM Modiji, Civil Aviation Minister Puriji, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the CMD of Air India Ashwini Lohani. Without their efforts, the flight wouldn’t have flown today.”

“There are six to eight lakh Odias residing in Surat. The direct flight service is going to be a boon for the Odia community,” added Sarangi.

Notably, direct flight service from Bhubaneswar to Varanasi will begin from February 29, informed Director of Biju Patnaik International Airport.

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