BANGALORE: While the Karnataka Government is busy trying to either expand airports or build new ones by acquiring hundreds of acres of land, there has been no offers from private airline operators to render their services on these routes.
The latest of these expansions are taking place in Hubli airport, where 400 acres has been handed over to Airports Authority of India (AAI). But in reality only Kingfisher Airlines operates two flights on this route.
Speaking to Express from Dharwad, Prahalad Joshi, MP, said that though it was a profitable route, only one airline operates there. The company maintained that they would not cancel ‘profit-making’ routes, even though reports of cancellations indicated otherwise.
“I am in constant touch with other airline operators. But there seems to be some delay,” Joshi added. Sharing that presently a compound wall construction was being undertaken in the Hubli airport, he maintained that existing airline operators had assured him that there were no cancellations of the route. “Two flights operate from here (Hubli) everyday and so far only the timing schedule has changed,” he reiterated.
Adding to this, Rajkumar Khatri, principal secretary (Infrastructure), Government of Karnataka, said that only economic development would lure these operators. “We cannot force anyone to start operating from these regions. We will provide economic development and infrastructure for the region. Airlines will realise these are profit-making routes and would want to be a part of it,” he said, adding, that the expansion plans will include a higher grade of airstrips. He also said that while the state only provided the land, most of the expenses incurred was taken care of by the AAI.