Mysore/Mysuru: From Sept.17 2017 to Jan. 20, 2020, a whopping 1,85,254 passengers have landed and taken off from the Mysore Airport at Mandakalli, the Airport that was once a grazing land for bovines.
A total of 90,398 air passengers have arrived at the Airport through many flights operated by TruJet, Alliance Air and Indigo Airlines and over 94,856 passengers have taken off to various destinations. The Airport that handled only one flight to Chennai in 2017 now handles eight flights and 16 routes including Belagavi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kalaburagi, Goa and Chennai.
The Kochi flight has been grounded as works on upgrading the Cochin International Airport is on and will be completed by March this year when the flight services will resume. Then, the total flights operated from Mysuru will touch nine and there are plans to introduce more flights to different destinations.
This increased flight operations from the Airport became a reality after the Narendra Modi government introduced the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagarik) scheme under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) and after Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha took keen interest in convincing the Civil Aviation Ministry to introduce more flights as Mysuru has the potential. Following this, many new flights were introduced and this saw a healthy rise in the occupancy rate over a period of time. Earlier, flights used to operate from Mysuru only during Dasara and operators used to shy away from the designated routes citing lack of occupancy. Almost all the flights now operated from Mysuru have 75 to 85 percent occupancy, encouraging the flight operators.
Earned the trust of flyers: MP
Commenting on this success, MP Pratap Simha told Star of Mysore this morning that the fully functional airport has been achieved with farsightedness and with the support offered to Mysuru under UDAN. “Mysore Airport stands as the best example for new flights to be introduced, effective marketing and also earning the trust of flyers. Now Mysureans are sure that flights are operated regularly and if they reach the airport on the scheduled time, a flight will be there to take them to desired destinations,” he said.
“During my first stint as MP, I relentlessly pursued the matter with the Civil Aviation Ministry and Mysureans can see the results in my early second term,” he said and added that he was actively pursuing the Mysore Airport Runway expansion so that the runway can be extended from the existing 1,740 metres to 2,750 metres for wide-bodied aircraft Airbus-320/321 to take off and land.
Airport Director R. Manjunath told SOM that the new flights have come as a boon to businessmen, tourists and also the IT head-honchos. “Mysuru has great potential for business networking and some of the networking aims have been realised as businessmen frequently fly to and from Mysuru,” he said.
After Bengaluru, Mysuru is the second busiest, popular and culturally important destination. Thanks to UDAN scheme and MP Simha, there is good air connectivity. “There are plans to introduce more flights. It is not only the local businessmen and industrialists who are flying out or landing in Mysore Airport but many tourists and other travellers are using the flights for quicker and easy reach and also to take connecting flights to other destinations,” said Manjunath.