Chief Executive Officers of different Airlines at a meeting

Bhubaneswar: Attending a meeting of Chief Executive Officers of different Airlines at a meeting here in Bhubaneswar, Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik made efforts to persuade the Airline Operators to improve connectivity with Odisha.  Citing the growth story of Odisha, presence of techno-savvy diaspora in different countries, the emergence of globe-trotting middle class, growth of tourism and rapid growth in various sectoral economies, the Chief Minister asked the Government of India and the Airline Operators to introduce new  flights for  both domestic and international destinations and improve connectivity from Odisha.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “I welcome all of you to Bhubaneswar, and express my gratitude for being here in the interest of civil aviation in Odisha. I also thank the Ministry of Civil Aviation for this event.

Odisha has witnessed rapid growth over the years and made its foothold strong in many areas including mining, manufacturing, tourism, culture, sports, education and IT.   In last few years, the aviation traffic in Odisha has seen immense growth.  Though the domestic flight connectivity has seen a noticeable improvement, there is greater scope for international connectivity.

A sizeable techno-savvy Odia Diaspora is active mainly in the countries like United States of America, Europe, Australia and the South East Asian countries. Besides, a substantial population is also working in Middle-East countries. I strongly believe that our “Skilled in Odisha” module has strengthened Brand Odisha, making our professionals high in demand in many countries across the globe.

The emergence of globetrotting middle-class has also resulted in rising overseas travel. Hence, introduction of more international flights from Bhubaneswar to the destinations like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Bangkok will provide convenience and comfort to the people of the State.   The natural attractions for places of tourist interests coupled with the rapid growth of sectoral economies in exports of minerals, steel, textile, marine products, IT and I.T.E.S in addition to successful hosting international sports events have all propelled the Brand Odisha as well as enhanced the aspirations of our people for more and more connection with rest of the world.

I take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Civil Aviation for increased connectivity to Odisha.  I further request the Ministry to introduce new connectivity from   Odisha to domestic destinations like Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow, Chennai, Vizag, Kochi and Ranchi. Similar is the demand for potential international hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Colombo. I assure that the State Government will provide necessary support.”

N.B. – It was informed that 14 new flights are planned to/from Odisha at the meeting.  Most of the flights are scheduled to operate between January to Summer 2020.  The planned destinations are Kolkata-Jharsuguda, Bhubaneswar-Varanasi, Varanasi-Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda-Mumbai, Prayagraj-Bhubaneswar, Delhi-Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, Bhubaneswar-Kalaikunda, Bhubaneswar-Bangkok, Bangkok- Bhubaneswar, Singapore-Bhubaneswar, Bhubaneswar-Abu Dhabi.

Speaking on the occasion Minister Commerce & Transport Shri Padmanav Behera highlighted on the tourism and mineral industries potential of the State.

Welcoming the guests, Chief Secretary Shri Asit Tripathy said coming to Odisha and knowing about its potential will make a great difference for this purpose.

Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation Shri P.S. Kharola said aviation is the new engine of economic growth.   He highlighted that while there is only 17 percent growth in aviation nationally; Bhubaneswar has seen 29 percent cumulative growth.

Joint Secretary of Civil Aviation Smt. Usha Padhi made a presentation on UDAN scheme and said Bhubaneswar will be provided viability gap funding under UDAN. She also highlighted the efforts to improve the different airstrips of Odisha. Secretary Commerce & Transport Shri Pramod Meherda and Industry Secretary Shri Hemanta Sharma, Sports, Tourism Principal Secretary Shri Vishal Deb made presentation on the potentials of their respective Departments. More than 25 CEOs of different Airlines were invited to the meeting.