Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India has not been operating its flight to Mysuru since November 17, pending further notice.
At the time of inauguration of the services in September this year, Minister for Tourism R V Deshpande had released an official statement that Karnataka government had committed itself to provide a viability gap funding of Rs.9.5 lakh per month for one year. This was to help the airline offset its loss due to possible poor patronage initially. .
But a communiqu from Alliance Air to its marketing staff said that the tenure was for a shorter duration and not one year.
The letter stated that in view of completion of tenure of financial arrangement with the Karnataka government on the operation of flights to Mysuru, the serive would be withdrawn from November 17.
Pratap Simha, Mysuru MP, said the government had failed to keep its commitment and should take steps to resolve the technical glitch, if any, in continuing the viability gap funding.
He expressed concern that frequent disruption and discontinuation of flights would harm the prospects of air services to Mysuru. The state had given a viability gap funding for one year to Hubballi before the services stabilised and such an arrangement should be in place for Mysuru as well if the passenger traffic was to pick up, he said. .
He cautioned that passengers would lose confidence if the services were irregular as most people tend to fly to Bengaluru for a connecting flights to other destinations. Such last-minute cancellation of services would only disrupt their plans, he added.
R Manjunath, Director, Airports Authority of India, Mysuru, said the discontinuation was only temporary due to a technical glitch and a meeting would be held to resolve it.
Kingfisher was the first to fly to Mysuru after the new airport was inaugurated in 2010, and it suspended operations after one year before going bust. SpiceJet stepped in and offered its services intermittently before suspending operations. Alliance Air was the third service provider operating to Mysuru.
Though the suspension was attributed to lack of patronage, figures available from the Mysuru Airport indicates that patronage was increasing. For November 19, 20 passengers had booked their seats for a capacity of 42 passengers, and there could have been more last-minute bookings.
Similarly, 16 passengers had booked their flight for November 21, 19 for November 24, and 40 for November 25. Mysuru Airport Director R. Manjunath said the response from passengers was increasing every day and the operations have to be resumed at the earliest to cater to the growing demand.
He pointed out that an aircraft flying to Mysuru can carry 42 passengers against which the occupancy rate was consistently high after the flight timings were revised recently. However, while the outbound flight from Mysuru garnered passengers, the same could not be said about the flight from Bengaluru.
Alliance Air used to depart from Bengaluru at 15.35 hrs. and reach Mysuru at 15.15 hrs. It used to depart from Mysuru at 16.35 hrs to reach Bengaluru at 17.15 hrs.UNI BSP VV RSS1058
-- (UNI) -- C-1-DL0284-446190.Xml