Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri to start a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai at the earliest.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Pradhan said that while Bhubaneswar is connected internationally, via direct flight to only Bangkok, more than 15,000 Odia people residing in different parts of United Arab Emirates (UAE) are forced to undertake an indirect route for traveling to Odisha.
"At present Bhubaneswar is connected internationally, via direct flight, to only one destination i.e. Bangkok, Thailand. Three has been a long pending request from various quarters for introducing a direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Dubai, UAE," read the letter.
"I am made to understand that there are more than 15,000 Odia people residing in different parts of UAE who are forced to undertake an indirect route for traveling to Odisha. I also understand the Odia society of UAE had a meeting with GM Air India Middle-east and Africa regarding the viability of a direct Air India flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai based on a favourable traffic data between these two destinations," Pradhan stated in his letter.
"Keeping in mind the welfare of commuters to and from Bhubaneswar -Dubai and larger potential for the development of Odisha. I request your personal intervention in launching a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Dubai at the earliest," requested Pradhan.
Underlining the importance of a direct flight, Pradhan mentioned that Bhubaneswar is an educational, healthcare, cultural and tourist hub with rich potential for medical tourism, cultural tourism, and educational exchange programmes.