While welcoming a decision for direct flight to Goa and Jaipur (Rajasthan) from Bhubaneswar from November 2, the residents of western Odisha demanded that the flights be made to fly via VSS Airport Jharsuguda so that the people here could avail the benefit and hence need not run to Bhubaneswar, Ranchi or Raipur to board the flight from there.
The people here also thanked Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for his initiatives in this regard. “It would be beneficial in double way. First, the occupancy rate will be higher and the people of entire State could get its benefit,” said YK Mahakud, a social scientist who has been working on different developmental projects for western Odisha. Mahakud and many others further suggested to divert morning IndiGo flight from Bhubaneswar to Delhi so that it could run with full occupancy without much time difference. “It could also connect eastern and western Odisha and the national capital as a whole,” said Golak Mishra, a local denizen. “We have requested the IndiGo authorities earlier and also the Civil Aviation Minister and Usha Padhi, Union Joint Secretary in particular, for this purpose. Once the demand is fulfilled, it could be helpful for IndiGo in terms of business and also for the passengers of both the regions,” Mahakud said.
Since Jharsuguda is a centrally located place, people of the entire western Odisha, neighbouring Raigarh, Saria and Basana area of Chhattisgarh, parts of Jharkhand are now travelling from the airport. And hence, upgrading it with more flights to different parts of country will also be financially beneficial both to ministry and the concerned airlines. It needs a mention that now only SpiceJet is operating from VSS Airport with only one flight of Air India to Kolkata. Hence, introduction of IndiGo could also bring in competitive spirit, Mahakud and Mishra demanded for a second terminal as existing and only one is now unable to meet rush and requirements.