Bhubaneswar– Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has requested Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri for introduction of direct flight services between Bhubaneswar and Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a letter released to media on Thursday, Pradhan sought Puri’s personal intervention in commencement of direct flights between Bhubaneswar and Ras Al Khaimah at the earliest.

Pradhan said that there has been a steady growth in the number of foreign passengers, especially tourists and NRIs ever since international operations commenced at Bhubaneswar airport in 2015.

“It is understood that there is a strong demand from the NRI Odia community and Odia people working in the Middle-East for a direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Ras Al Khaimah. A direct connection between Bhubaneswar and Ras Al Khaimah will immensely benefit a large number of Odia workers travelling to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Riyadh, Bahrain, and other Gulf cities,” said Pradhan.

At present, there is only one direct international flight operated by Air Asia from Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

“It has come to my knowledge that SpiceJet airlines has an MoU with UAE to start a new airline in Ras Al Khaimah. It shall be helpful if it can be recommended to SpiceJet to consider Ras Al Khaimah connectivity from Bhubaneswar,” said Pradhan.

He said the proposed flight will also help strengthen the bilateral relationship with UAE and bolster business links between the two countries. (IANS)