Bhubaneswar: The first direct international flight took off from Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur late on Wednesday night with 159 passengers on board.
The 180-seater plane of Air Asia, which was scheduled to take off at 11:55 PM, was delayed for one hour as the flight from Kuala Lumpur landed late. Thus, the flight took off at 12.55 am.
On this occasion, the airport authorities bid a warm send off to as many as 159 fliers. Similarly, they also welcomed the 95 passengers who flew in from Kuala Lumpur with flowers.
The first flight AK 31 arrived here at 12.25 am, around 50 minutes delay, with 95 passengers from Kuala Lumpur. After landing in Bhubaneswar, AK 30 flew to Kuala Lumpur with 159 passengers on board.
To commemorate the occasion, the T2 terminal was decorated with colourful lights. The passengers were welcomed with music and traditional way. Culture & Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, Bhubaneswar airport director R Mahalingam and other dignitaries provided the passengers boarding pass.
With the operation of Air Asia direct flight to Malaysia, many Buddhist tourists will visit Odisha and State’s tourism industry will be developed, said Panda.
Notably, the flight will be operated four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The flight will take off at 10.10 pm from Kuala Lumpur to Bhubaneswar and land at 11.25 pm here. Similarly, it will board at 11.55 pm from Bhubaneswar and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 6.20 am as per their local time.