MYSORE: Uncertainty looms large over the continuation of the only air service from Mysore Airport, casting a cloud on Dasara celebrations which are two months away.
Mysore Airport director C Manjunath said SpiceJet has orally informed them about discontinuing flight operations between Mysore and Chennai from September 1, apparently due to the low occupancy. The authority has sought a written confirmation on the same from the operator, which Manjunath said is expected in a day or two.
Currently, the airline operates between Mysore and Chennai with only one stop at Bangalore. The company, which began services on this route on January 14, 2013, operates five days a week (except on Tuesdays and Saturdays).
Manjunath said the occupancy rate was fairly good during summer and till June, but has been declining since then. The occupancy rate had come down to less than 30-40 per cent in the last one month, Manjunath said.
Change in flight hours could be one of the reasons for the declining occupancy rate. The departure time of the flight was changed from 2.30 pm to 8.30 am nearly a fortnight ago due to ‘operational reasons’, following which the occupancy further went down.
Former MP A H Vishwanath, expressing concern over news of the flight being grounded, said MP Pratap Simha should take up the matter with the authorities.
He also said he would meet Minister of State for Civil Aviation, G M Siddeshwar, in the first week of August to apprise him of the need for air connectivity to Mysore during the Dasara festivities.
He also expressed displeasure over Mysore Airport not being considered for upgradation along with Belgaum, Bellary and Hubli airports that had been announced recently.