Bhubaneswar: Odisha government doled out largesses to flight operators to enhance air connectivity to the State.

At the high level meeting on Enhancing Air Connectivity for Odisha, held here on Wednesday, the State government offered zero VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) for flight operators those would introduce international flights from Odisha. The VAT would be 1% on ATF for domestic flights connecting Odisha.

The government is now offering Rs1.5 lakh subsidy for air operators.

The Wednesday meeting was attended by 21 airline CEOs to explore the possibility of introduction of flights from Odisha. The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, addressed the meeting along with his commerce and transport minister Padmanabha Behera. The union civil aviation secretary, Pradeep Singh Kharola, joint secretary Usha Padhee and Airport Authority of India (AAI) chairman Arvind Singh were present.

As many as 12 new flights would be introduced from Odisha soon. From February 29 flights connecting Bhubaneswar-Varanasi, in May Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, from July 1, Bhubaneswar-Prayagraj, Jharsuguda-Mumbai during summer schedule.

Currently, 43 flights are operating from Odisha besides the lone international flight to Kuala Lumpur.