BENGALURU: Due to poor response from air passengers for the ‘Flybus’ service launched between Kempegowda International Airport and Tirupati, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) cancelled the operations on this route last week. It incurred a loss of nearly `28 lakh in a little over 100 days.
Divisional Controller of Bengaluru Central Division, B T Prabhakar Reddy told The New Indian Express that the push given by the Civil Aviation Ministry to the UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) Regional Connectivity Scheme, Tirupati operations have taken a big beating. This scheme aims to provide air connectivity to smaller towns from under served airports.
“We used to have just one or two flights landing at Tirupati. Hence a four-hour bus journey from Bengaluru airport looked attractive. However, now we have over 22 flights landing at Tirupati daily. So, people opt to fly directly to the temple town,” Reddy said.
The Tirupati service, launched on September 18, 2018, ran two trips in each direction daily. It was shelved on December 31.“An assessment of the 3.5 months we operated this route showed an average of only two passengers boarding from the Bengaluru airport. Our drivers used to stop the bus enroute and manage to get onboard 10 to 15 passengers,” Reddy said.