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New airline to touch down

- Daily flights to Bangalore from Jan

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 1: ABC Airways, an aviation company based in Bangalore, has received the nod of Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to start its services from here.

The company will run two flights — one in the morning and another in the evening — between Bhubaneswar and Bangalore from January next year.

ABC Airways is a subsidiary of the Bangalore-based ABC Aviation and Training Services Private Limited. Promoter Rajesh Ebrahim is a commercial pilot and this will be a new venture.

“The private company is promoted by Rajesh Ebrahim will fly Embraer 170 aircraft to Bangalore and operations will start around January next year,” Biju Patnaik Airport director Sharad Kumar told The Telegraph.

The airline has three Embraer 170 aircraft in its fleet.

The news comes as relief to those who travel frequently between the two cities. They were worried about the air link between the two cities after a private airlines decided to stop its Bhubaneswar operations from October 27.

Satyabrata Swain, an IT professional based in Bangalore, said: “With the rise in the number of Odia IT professionals here and the opening of more IT development centres in Bhubaneswar, daily flights between the two cities are necessary.”

Debasish Mohapatra, a travel planner and consultant, said: “Bangalore is a major sector in the aviation route from the city. While the usual passenger load remains between 65 and 70 per cent on weekdays, the figure touches nearly 90 per cent on weekends. The new venture can be effective in the absence of any other operator after October 27.”

“We contacted the airport officials at Guwahati and Amritsar last week. Today, we met the director of Biju Patnaik Airport here and are really happy to get the co-operation and support from the AAI and the state government. Next week, we are going to meet airport officials of Patna, Surat and Lucknow,” managing director of ABC Airways Rajesh Ebrahim told The Telegraph.

“We will plan the flight schedule in such a way that people can leave Bhubaneswar in the morning, finish their work in Bangalore during the day and get back home in the evening. All our aircraft will have a seating capacity of 78,” he said.

Apart from Bhubaneswar, the airlines will also link other southern destinations from Bangalore. “We are going to have services to Pune and Goa from Bangalore in the near future,’’ he said.

However, Guwahati, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar and Surat routes will be given priority by the carrier because the cities have emerged as the new happening places in the aviation sector.