Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air Asia,Malaysia-based budget airline, for direct international flight between Bhubaneswar and Kuala Lumpur.
Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) managing director and Tourism director Nitin Bhanudas Jawale and Air Asia CEO Aireen Omar signed the agreement in the presence of chief secretary AP Padhi and senior officials of the airline and state government.
“This has happened with a lot of hard work. With this MoU, Air Asia will start the first direct international flight connecting Odisha. Now the people will have an option of flying directly to that part of the world from Biju Patnaik International Airport here,” said Jawale.
“We will soon start the operations and the dates will be announced very soon” informed Aireen Omar, CEO, Air Asia.
Earlier in January this year, international cargo operations began from the capital city’s airport.
The state government has allowed the Thai Air Asia to receive subsidy support of Rs 1.70 lakh per round trip for starting air service operations from Bhubaneswar to Singapore/Bangkok/ Kuala Lumpur.
Notably, the state government had already reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) to zero percent for direct international flights. Besides, the state government had allowed reasonable Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in form of subsidy grant.