Bhubaneswar: Local carrier Air Odisha has sought permission from the state government to fly to two more destinations in western Odisha. It has given the government a proposal to run flights to Kalahandi and Balangir two days ago.
The carrier is currently flying to Sambalpur, Rourkela, Jharsuguda and Jeypore from here. If Balangir and Kalahandi have air connectivity, western and southern Odisha will be fully covered.
“We have urged the government to approve our Balangir and Kalahandi operations. Currently, we have one aircraft. Once we start flying to the new destinations, we will procure one more aircraft,” said Air Odisha founder Santosh Pani.
After a month of successful intra-state flight operations in January, the local carrier had decided to run a flight to neighbouring Chhattisgarh capital Raipur. Air Odisha had then given a proposal to the government requesting permission for the Raipur operation from here.
On January 19, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had flagged off the intra-state flight from Biju Patnaik International Airport. The government is running the intra-state air service in collaboration with Air Odisha. The government has agreed to provide subsidy to the carrier on the basis of nautical miles covered by it in a month.
Also in the offing is a Maintenance, Repair and Overhauling (MRO) centre here to meet the requirement of small aircrafts, choppers and helicopters. Currently, there is no MRO facility in the state, as a result of which carriers have to take their aircrafts to Bengaluru, Kolkata and Delhi. Air Odisha has approached the state government to provide half an acre of land near Biju Patnaik International Airport to set up the MRO centre.
On Wednesday, an Air India Bhubaneswar-Delhi flight was delayed by one-and-a-half hours due to a technical snag. It left at 3.45pm instead of 2.10pm. Air India sources said it was a minor problem and the flight landed safely in Delhi.