Non Resident Odias (NROs) step up efforts to operationalize VSS Airport, Jharsuguda by meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

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Jharsuguda: Non-resident Odia(NRO) living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) met Chief Minister of Odisha on 17th November and urged him to ensure regular flight services from recently inaugurated Veer Surendra Sai Airport, Jharsuguda.

A delegation of UAE based Odias, flew down to Odisha and met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and submitted a memorandum for a proper functioning of flight services from the second Airport of the State.

The delegation was led by Captian Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Director and CEO, International Shipping and Logistics, Dubai and Priyadarshee Panigrahi, General Manager, Wipro.

“The establishment of an airport in western Odisha was a long pending demand of the people and it’s the opening of Jharsuguda airport was cheered by the entire region. The NROs, living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had celebrated the opening of the airport in front of Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the World). It was a proud moment for all the people from Odisha (particularly from the western region) to be connected by air to different parts of the country. In fact, senior NROs had met the Consul General, Consulate General of India, Dubai, Shri Vipul on the 17th of October to press for direct connectivity of this airport with major metros like Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata. ” said Capt. Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Director & CEO, International Shipping & Logistics FZE (A Tata Group Company), Dubai

“Since its inauguration by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on the 22nd of September, erratic operations from this airport by the fledgeling airline ‘Air Odisha’ was a major source of disappointment. However, the news of its closure, just about two weeks after its inauguration has caused a lot of dismay and disappointment among all Odias especially people of Western Odisha. From the day of its inauguration, only 6 flights took off from this airport.

The real fillip to the development of the region will happen when the airport starts its operations and direct air connectivity with major metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata are established. ” he added

“Bhubaneswar has about 11 daily direct flights from Delhi and about 4 daily direct flights from Mumbai. Initially, to ensure the viability of flight services, some of these direct flights can be made hopping flights (with a stopover at Jharsuguda)”. said Priyadarshee Panigrahi – General Manager, Wipro Unza Middle East Limited (A Wipro Group Company), Dubai

“Direct air links will boost the economic development of the region and will enable greater corporate investment, ultimately leading to better lives for the people residing in and around Western Odisha”. He added

The Chief Minister gave the delegation a patient hearing. His office said that the State Government has strongly recommended to the Government of India to ensure direct air connectivity to Jharsuguda airport by making the Air India flight from Delhi to Bhubaneswar operate via Jharsuguda. Official sources at the Chief Minister’s office also said that the State Government had offered to subside such flights so that the impetus to start such operations is provided by it.

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