Air Costa airline, a regional carrier will soon start operating from Bhubaneswar airport. It is the first regional airline from the south, operated from Vijaywada, has evinced interest to start domestic flights from Bhubaneswar from the first week of September. Air Costa is promoted by the Vijaywada-based construction group LEPL, with a fleet of 3 Embraer E-Jets. These planes are suitable for connectivity between tier-II and III cities with important metros. Presently, these flights are for six destinations.
A total of 18 flights belonging to Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo are operating from the city. With Air Costa, there will be four airlines. The Airbus, suitable for short-haul regional connectivity, is most likely to fly from Bhubaneswar to Chennai and Bangalore via Vizag. “The route is yet to be finalized. But we will start the service from the first week of September. Two flights, E170 and E190 are likely to be commissioned from here,” said airport director Sharad Kumar. He said within a year, three more domestic flights may be given permission to operate from Bhubaneswar. “We are negotiating with Air Asia, Spice Jet and Go Air. They are keen but their flying is yet to be confirmed,” the director said.
Earlier, three international carriers, Silk Air (Singapore), Fly Dubai (Dubai) and Indigo (Bangkok) wanted to start international flights from here. “On a rough estimate, at least 180 passengers per day will fly to Bangkok and 150 passengers each to Dubai and Singapore from Bhubaneswar. These are all direct flights,” said a senior AAI official. The international flights will begin operation once the city airport gets an international tag from the civil aviation ministry. The old domestic terminal has been modified to handle international flights.