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VARANASI-BHUBANESWAR FLIGHT TO BOOST TOURISM IN THE STATE Minister and secretary greeted the passengers

Bhubaneswar, 08/11/2015::Air India has started its flight operation from Varanasi to Bhubaneswar today, followed by constant persuasion of State government with Ministry of civil Aviation. . The first flight landed at Biju Pattnaik International Airport (BPIA), at 02.00 PM and passengers were received by Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Minister, Tourism & Culture along with Shri L. N.Gupta, Principal Secretary, Tourism at the airport. Among others Shri Priyadarshi Mishra, M.L.A., Shri Anant Narayan Jena, Mayor and Shri Sharad Kumar, Director, Airport and Sri Anil Kumar Samal, Director, tourism were also present. The passengers were greeted with flower and a set of literature on Odisha tourism. This flight will initially operate for four days a week i.e. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. Air India
Minister Shri Panda mentioned that the flight operation from will connect two sacred religious centres of the country i.e. Kashi Vishwanath and Jagannath Dham, Puri. He added that government is working with the Civil Aviation Ministry for a direct flight from Bhubaneswar to any of the South-East Asian countries and the efforts are expected to yield result soon.
Principal Secretary, Tourism Shri Gupta, who followed up the matter of air connectivity between Varanasi and Bhubaneswar in his meeting with Shri Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India on 3rd October stated that the direct air connectivity from Varanasi to Bhubaneswar and vice versa will link the Diamond Triangle (Ratnagiri-Udaygiri-Lalitgiri) of the state to Varanasi, one of the major Buddhist destinations of the country. He added that Buddhist Circuit of the state has tremendous potential to attract foreign and domestic tourists to the state. Odisha Tourism will organise a Road Show in Varanasi and it will take up sensitization of travel and tour operators for the purpose, Sri Gupta said It is hoped that Varanasi-Bhubaneswar air link will boost Odisha Tourism in general and Buddhist Tourism in particular. Air India plane AI-419 today had 32 passengers including two foreign tourists, while return flight had 40 passengers. On this occasion, a lottery was organised by Air India, in which Shri Sanjeev Shroff, a passenger travelling to Mirjapur via Varanasi won a free return ticket in any sector within the country.

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