21 November 2019
Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written a letter to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep S Puri seeking his personal intervention in facilitating the introduction of a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaima in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
"Keeping in mind the benefit of the people of Odisha, I take this opportunity to request your personal intervention in the commencement of a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaima at the earliest," wrote Pradhan in a letter addressed to Puri on Wednesday.
Pradhan has told the Civil Aviation Minister that ever since international operations commenced at Bhubaneswar airport in 2015, there has been a steady growth in the number of international passengers, especially tourists and NRIs.
"It is understood that there is a strong demand from the NRI Odia community and Odia people working in the Middle-east for a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaimah, UAE. A direct connection between Bhubaneswar and Ras-Al-Khaimah will immensely benefit a large number of Odia workers travelling to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Riyad, Bahrain, and other Gulf cities," the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister has pointed out.
Further, Pradhan has stated that there is only one direct international flight from Bhubaneswar connecting it with Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which is operated by Air Asia.
He has also pointed out that Bhubaneswar Airport today stands as one of India's fastest-growing airports with a growth rate of 41% in 2017-18 and grossing over 32 lakh footfalls.
Pradhan has told Puri that it has come to his knowledge that Spicejet Airlines has an MOU with UAE to start a new airline in Ras-Al-Khaima.
"It shall be helpful if it can be recommended to Spicejet to consider Ras-Al-Khaima connectivity from Bhubaneswar," the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister said in the letter.
He has added that the proposed flight will also help in further strengthening our bilateral relationship with the UAE and bolster the business between the two countries.