Bhubaneswar, Dec 11: The maiden direct flight of Air India from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok was flagged off by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here from Sunday.
The flight will be operated on every Thursday and Sunday.
Describing this as a historic moment, Patnaik said he hoped it will further strengthen ties with southeast Asian countries.
"It will also boost trade and tourism. Besides, it will pave way to attract more international visitors to our Buddhist tourism centres," said the Chief Minister and cut a cake with passengers and crew members.
The flight number A1338 left Bhubaneswar at about 3.45 p.m. and arrived in Bangkok at 8.15 p.m.
Earlier in the day, flight number A1339 with 18 passengers on board took off from Bangkok at around 5.40 a.m. (IST) and landed at 7 a.m. in Bhubaneswar airport on Sunday.
The passengers were given a rousing welcome after they landed.
Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said the direct flight would boost tourism to Odisha.
On April 26 this year, Air Asia had commenced a flight from Bhubaneswar to Kuala Lumpur.