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Posted on Nov 04, 04:44PM | UNI
Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO) today regretted the Union government's decision to withdraw Air India's flights connecting Bhubaneswar with Kolkata and Chennai and appealed to the Civil Aviation Minister to restore the flights immediately.
HRAO Chairman and Chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators, Odisha chapter J K MOhanty said the decision taken just before the beginning of the tourist season will badly hamper tourism trade, commerce and industry of the state.
Mr Mohanty appaled to Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh to immediately restore the flights to Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Raipur and Varanasi from Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, Air India had also withdrawn flights to Bangalore, Raipur, Varanasi and Hyderabad from Odisha.
Mr Mohanty said he had also written a letter to Mr Singh and submitted its copies to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and state Tourism Minister Maheswar Mohanty to intizte steps for the restoration of the flights.
He said the flights were withdrwan at a time when all the flights connecting Bhubaneswar were coming full as the number of corporate and business travelers to the state had increased manifold due to the heavy investment in various sectors.
Mr Mohanty said the Tourism department of the state had been aggressively planning to promote the Buddhist tourist sector of the state. The IRCTC had agreed to extend its Mahapari Nirvan Express and two trains had been scheduled for December and January. Many of these tourists had decided to go to Chennai towards their onward journey to Sri Lanka and other places. The tourists would be badly hit due to the decision, he said.
The HRAO Chairman said in the current month a group of tour operators and hoteliers are to leave for Buddhist countries such as Thailand, Sri Lanka and Cambodia to woo the tourists to visit the state.
The state government had also accepted a proposal to lead a delegation of entrepreneurs to have a meeting with the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in the last week of this month to attract investments to Odisha.
In addition to it a large number of conferences planned for during the next three months would be badly hit as a large number of delegates from Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata are expected to participate in the conference.
Mr Mohanty said during a recent meeting Civil Aviation Minister Mr Ajit Singh had also assured to make Bhubaneswar an International Airport.
At this time the decision of the Air India to withdraw flights to metros, saying this is a business decision 'is regrettable.'