MYSORE,: Mysore was once again connected to the country’s air network on Friday with Dr Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines launching direct flights between Bangalore and Mysore.
The Mandakalli airport, developed at a cost of Rs 82 crore by the Airports Authority of India and thrown open on May 15, 2010, was lying idle as flight operators did not express interest in operating services. However, at the behest of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, Kingfisher Airlines launched flight services between the two cities that will operate on all days of the week except Saturdays.
“I had requested Dr Mallya to start operating flights between the two cities before the commencement of Dasara,” the CM told reporters on the occasion, while promising flight operators that the sector would prove to be financially viable and elicit a good response from the public.
“With the commencement of flight services by Kingfisher Airlines, Mysore has now attained a prominent place on the national network, Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman, Kingfisher Airlines Limited and United Breweries (UB), said. He recalled his childhood days and said that Mysore Airport then only had a grass air-strip and a one-room terminal when he used to visit here to go to Chamundi Hill, Ooty and Madikeri. He added that he was amazed by the development in Mysore and Bangalore, especially in the sectors IT and tourism.
“This is my second innings in operating flight services between Mysore and Bangalore,” the chairman of the UB group said. He had earlier operated air services between the two cities under the aegis of ‘UB air’.
Lauding the CM for assuring air operators of compensation from the government should they sustain losses while operating services between Mysore and Bangalore, the maverick entrepreneur averred: “I hope to not ask for compensation as it would benefit tourism, IT and other sectors.” Claiming that the launch of the new route was an important milestone for Kingfisher Airlines, he said this will result in hassle-free travel between the two cities.
MP H Vishwanath urged Dr Mallya to operate flights between Mysore and Goa, Mangalore, Chennai, Pune and other places, while urging Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy to boost tourism in the region by introducing heli tourism. Mayor Sandesh Swamy appealed to Dr Mallya to reduce the fare for travel between two cities to aid tourism and industrialisation.