Air Costa, a Vijayawada-based carrier, has shown interest in starting domestic flights from Bhubaneswar. According to reports, the airline has planned to offer its services from the Odisha capital to cities like Chennai and Bengaluru via Visakhapatnam, starting September. Touted as the first regional airline from down south, Air Costa is promoted by a renowned construction group – LEPL that has a fleet of three Embraer E-Jets. These aircraft are ideal for short-haul connectivity between tier-II and III cities, and metro cities. Currently, airlines such as IndiGo, Air India and Jet Airways operate to and from Bhubaneswar with a total of 18 flights.
According to the airport director of the Bhubaneswar Airport, two flights (E190 and E 170) will be commissioned by Air Costa from the city. He further added that besides Air Costa, three more airlines – Go Air, Air Asia and SpiceJet could be given permission to start their services from Bhubaneswar within a year. These carriers have shown keen interest; however, it is yet to get finalises as negotiations are going on.
Additionally, three international airlines – Fly Dubai, Dubai; Silk Air, Singapore and IndiGo, Bangkok too wish to offer international flights to and from the city. It is estimated that a minimum of 150 passengers each to Singapore and Dubai while 180 passengers to Bangkok are likely to fly on a daily basis from Bhubaneswar, if permission is granted to these international airlines. Though the old domestic terminal of the Bhubaneswar Airport (Biju Patnaik International Airport) has been redeveloped to cater to international flights, it is yet to get approval from the civil aviation ministry on that front. Once these airlines start their operations, the city locals will be able to book international air tickets directly to Singapore, Dubai and Bangkok, rather than making booking connecting flights from New Delhi, Mumbai or Kolkata.