IndiGo To Launch International Operations From Bhubaneswar

Credit: Joe Pries

International service is returning to Bhubaneswar, a city in India’s eastern state of Odisha, after an absence of more than three years.

IndiGo’s inaugural overseas flights from Biju Patnaik Airport (BBI) will launch in May, connecting the city nonstop with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the first time. The 3,164-km (1,708-nm) route to Dubai (DXB) will start on May 15, operating three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays using Airbus A320s.

The LCC has also set out plans to offer two more international routes from Bhubaneswar—to Bangkok and Singapore—once slots and other operational requirements have been finalized.

“The new direct flights between Bhubaneswar-Dubai will reduce the need for travelers to connect to international destinations through metro cities only,” IndiGo head of global sales Vinay Malhotra says. “This will not only enable faster connectivity, enhanced accessibility but also encourage trade and tourism in the state.”

Bhubaneswar is known as the "Temple City" and continues to draw pilgrims from all over the world. As well as being a popular leisure destination, it is also a major industrial city with a number of iron and steel manufacturing plants.

BBI has been without international flights since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 when AirAsia suspended a route from Kuala Lumpur. Data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser shows that Thai AirAsia also offered a seasonal route from Bangkok Don Mueang until November 2019.

Odisha’s government is supporting the introduction of IndiGo’s first international flights from Bhubaneswar. Chief minister Shri Naveen Patnaik said the connectivity with Dubai would “open up a direct gateway to the world.” He added the route would “have huge multiplier effect on investment in Odisha in sectors like IT, manufacturing and tourism.”

Sabre Market Intelligence figures show that O&D traffic between Bhubaneswar and the UAE totaled 34,800 two-way passengers in 2019—all of which was indirect. Mumbai was the largest one-stop connecting market, followed by Delhi and Hyderabad. The data also shows that about 77% of the Bhubaneswar-UAE traffic was to and from Dubai.

IndiGo serves 14 domestic destinations from BBI at the present time, providing almost 32,000 weekly departure seats. Bhubaneswar will become the 17th Indian airport in the airline’s network with international flights.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.