Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday urged the Centre to take steps for launching of direct international flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai to meet the growing need of travellers.
The state has been witnessing rise in traffic to various international destinations due to the increase in industrial investments and tourist footfalls, Patnaik said in a letter to Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri.
"Various international airlines have evinced interest to start international flight operations from Biju Patnaik International Airport, here to Dubai," he said.
However, restriction on landing rights has been a deterrent for such operations by international airlines, the chief minister said in his letter, copy of which was released to the media on Saturday.
In the absence of direct flights from the state to other international destinations such as Dubai and other countries in Middle East, passengers face immense difficulties to go to their desired places, he said.
Patnaik said this can be addressed if the air connectivity is established between Bhubaneswar and Dubai which also serves as an international hub for passengers travelling to other overseas destinations.
Although Air India has international flights from Bhubaneswar to Middle East via New Delhi, it is a costlier and time-consuming option, he said, adding that a direct flight is necessary between two cities as there is sufficient passenger load.
"In view of the above, I would request you to impress upon Air India or any other airline to introduce direct international flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai to meet the growing demand of people of Odisha for international travel," Patnaik added.