A chartered flight carrying 12 tourists and three crew members from Spain landed at the Biju Patnaik International Airport here on Saturday.
The chartered flight is scheduled to fly to Osaka International Airport in Japan on Tuesday. The tourists flying in the 18-seater Global Express business jet voyaged across Jaipur, Jaiselmer and Jodhpur before arriving in Odisha to cover popular tourist destinations here.
Customs and immigration facilities were provided as per the rules at the airport. The customs and immigration conventions were executed as per the laid down protocols.
This is the first international flight to operate at the Biju Patnaik airport after it was accorded the international status in October last year. The airport authorities said this will not be the last.
“We are expecting many such international charters in the near future because of the tourism potential the State has to offer. We have received many proposals and will keep going through them,” Director, Biju Patnaik International Airport, Sharad Kumar said.
Chartered flights apart, the State is also expecting international operators to connect. In fact, at least four airliners had approached the Biju Patnaik airport authorities to commence operations last year, but the proposals are awaiting clearance from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Kumar said from among the international operators which had approached the Biju Patnaik airport authorities to operate through Bhubaneswar, only Fly Dubai has announced its schedule for Odisha so far. But certain procedural issues need to be cleared at the Ministry level. “We will push for Fly Dubai’s operation soon,” he added.
The Biju Patnaik airport, he said, is fully-equipped to handle large-scale passenger and cargo aircraft and exuded confidence towards the operation of international flights in a couple of months.