The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Media jitters for Deccan first flight

Bhubaneswar, March 26: State industries minister Biswabhushan Harichandan today flagged off three Air Deccan flights from Bhubaneswar amid rumbling protests and boycotts from newspersons over the airline’s tirade against media “sensationalism”.

While Air Deccan’s daily Bangalore Airbus service via Chennai will leave Bangalore at 7.25 am and reach Bhubaneswar at 10.25 am, the return flight will take off from Bhubaneswar at 10.55 am and land at Bangalore at 1.55 pm.

The daily flight from Vishakapatnam will leave the city at 9.20 am and reach Bhubaneswar at 10.45. The return flight will leave Bhubaneswar at 11 am and return to Vishakapatnam at 12.25 pm.

The Hyderabad-Delhi-Bhubaneswar flight will leave the Andhra capital at 5.50 am and reach Bhubaneswar at 10.20 am. The return flight will take off from Bhubaneswar at 10.50 am, reaching Hyderabad at 12.15 pm.

A second Deccan flight will take off from Hyderabad at 4.20 pm and will reach Bhubaneswar at 5.45 pm. It will start for the national capital at 6.15 pm and reach Delhi at 8.15 pm.

The same flight will take off from Delhi at 9 pm and arrive at Bhubaneswar at 11 pm.

Their inaugural take-off, though, proved to be a bumpy ride for the airline officials. Air Deccan officials brought the news conference at the airport to an abrupt end after being hammered by the mediapersons with a barrage of questions.

The airline’s chief revenue officer, Samyukth Sridharan, while explaining the recent off-loading incident at Bangalore, said it was “just sensational journalism”.

“I myself was present there and can vouch for the fact that no overbooking took place. If the media wants to paint us in bad light, we are helpless,” the officer said.

Similar complaints were also received from the airport here when on March 15 four extra passengers were reportedly off-loaded from the airline’s Bhubaneswar-Delhi flight. “These have not come to our notice,” an evasive Sridharan said.

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