Mysore/Mysuru: The Mysuru travel and tourism stakeholders have said that the flight to Sindhudurg from Mysuru from Feb. 1 (tomorrow) is a futile exercise and a non-essential operation. They have instead demanded a daily flight to Kochi (Cochin) and additional flights to Goa from Mysuru, taking into consideration the route potential.
As an indication of the unpopularity of the route, not a single ticket has been booked from Mysuru to Sindhudurg for tomorrow’s inaugural flight.
This particular flight will connect Hyderabad, Mysuru and Sindhudurg. IRB Infrastructure Developers, the operator of the Sindhudurg Airport, said Alliance Air will fly from Hyderabad to Sindhudurg via Mysuru and back.
The Mysuru-Sindhudurg flight will be operated on Wednesdays and Sundays and will leave Hyderabad at 2 pm to reach Mysuru at 4 pm. From Mysuru, it will reach Sindhudurg at 5.30 pm. In the return direction, the plane will leave Sindhudurg at 6 pm and reach Mysuru at 7.30 pm and proceed towards Hyderabad on the same day, according to a press release.
Currently, Alliance Air is the only operator from Sindhudurg Airport in Konkan region of Maharashtra, with flights to Mumbai. The airport started commercial operations on Oct. 9, 2021.
Mysuru Travels Association (MTA) President C.A. Jayakumar told Star of Mysore that the Mysuru-Sindhudurg flight is just a waste of resources. “This operation has been finalised without application of mind and without consulting travel and tourism stakeholders. People of Mysuru are not familiar of Sindhudurg and there is no rationale for introducing the new flight,” he said.
“Instead, the Mysore Airport authorities and the operators could have reintroduced the Mysuru-Kochi flight which has good potential. In fact, the earlier Bengaluru-Kochi flight via Mysuru had good occupancy rates and tickets were selling under the premium category. Unfortunately, the Kochi flight is cancelled now but the Bengaluru-Kochi flight has been retained and Mysuru has missed out,” Jayakumar added.
Mysuru’s business, tourism and education sector needs additional flights to Goa and new flights to Kochi, Tirupati and Shirdi to boost those sectors. “The Mysuru-Sindhudurg-Hyderabad flight can be converted to Mysuru-Kochi-Hyderabad flight and this makes more sense and the route has the potential. Routes cannot be randomly decided just because the operators have additional planes,” he said.
If the Mysore Airport continues to be off the radar, negativity will spread and the travel and tourism stakeholders dread that. “We understand that our MP is striving hard to bring the Airport to international standards by boosting connectivity. But once the travellers get a negative feeling about Mysuru, it will be difficult to regain their trust,” Jayakumar warned.
President of the Federation of Organisations and Associations of Mysuru (FOAM) B.S. Prashanth too echoed similar sentiments. He said, “Mysuru needs another flight to Goa and new services to Mumbai, Pune, Shirdi and Tirupati. We are not aware of why this Mysuru-Sindhudurg service has been introduced.”