The much-awaited first international flight (feeder flight) took off from the Bhubaneswar Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) on Friday with 35 overseas passengers.
The New Delhi bound flight of Air India (AI) took off from Bhubaneswar Airport amidst heavy shower at 2.30 pm with 154 passengers on board out of which 35 fliers travelled to six international destinations – London, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, Singapore, New York and Bahrain.
Now passengers can fly to 101 different destinations from Bhubaneswar via Delhi as Air India is a member of Star Alliance Network, which has 26 other international airlines in its fold. Similarly, overseas passengers can come to Bhubaneswar en route Delhi in the Air India morning flight.
As per the schedule, the AI-078 international flight would leave Bhubaneswar everyday at 2 PM and arrive in New Delhi from where the overseas passengers would board another flight to international destinations.
The chief minister skipped the programme in protest against the Centre’s denial of proper international flights from the airport which got international airport status back in October 2013, relaible sources said.
Union Tribal Affairs minister Jual Oram, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan, MP Prasanna Patsani, officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) including Director, Eastern Range, Satyasudha Bhaduri, Director of Biju Patnaik International Airport, Sharad Kumar and senior officials of the Odisha government were present on the occasion.