Odisha to get direct international flight from March

Bhubaneswar: The people of Odisha will get a direct international flight from Bhubaneswar by the end of March.

An MoU was signed today between the state government and Air Asia in presence of Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi and Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan for direct international flights to Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier in January this year, international cargo operations began from the Biju Patnaik International Airport.

Frequent fliers to South East Asian countries would have an option to fly from here and the state’s tourism, economy, trade, hospitality sector and cultural exchange would witness an upward trend owing the international connectivity with the city, officials said.

The state government had last year allowed Air Asia to receive subsidy support of Rs 1.70 lakh per round trip for starting air services from Bhubaneswar to Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

The state government has already reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) to zero per cent for direct international flights. Besides, the state government had allowed reasonable Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in the form of subsidy grant.