Revival of Puducherry airport, after over two decades of languishing due to disuse, is on the cards with commercial carrier SpiceJet announcing its daily flight schedule from Puducherry to Bangalore and vice versa on Dash 8 Q400 aircraft starting January 17.
The schedule of 50-minute-long travel is: Puducherry (Departure) -13.30 and Bangalore (arrival) - 14.20, Bangalore (Departure)- 12.20 and Puducherry (arrival)- 13.10. The tickets are priced for Puducherry to Bangalore at Rs 3193 and from Bangalore to Puducherry at Rs 3445. Round trip is priced at `6638.
Advance booking for Puducherry to Bangalore would cost passengers around Rs 2668 (one or two months before journey) and around Rs 2920 for Bangalore to Puducherry. Passengers could also fly to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Hyderabad from Puducherry via Bangalore.
Puducherry airport, which came into existence in 1989, went underutilised for major part of its life, except during a brief period from mid 1989 to 1991 when Vayudoot operated scheduled flights on 14-seater aircraft. However, Vayudoot could not sustain operations on Chennai-Puducherry-Neyvelli and return, and later on Chennai-Puducherry-Bangalore-Hubli routes, and aborted its operations. But, over the years even after several initiatives were taken to meet the growing demands for flights, operations eluded Puducherry.
Meanwhile, travel and tour operators and passengers believe that once flight operations take off demand for airline travel too would go up.