Most of the flights from here are carrying almost 50% of their capacity
The air passenger traffic originating from Mysuru is beginning to pick up for the first time since the COVID-19 threw everything out of gear across all sectors.
There are 12 flight movements at the Mysuru airport daily and the authorities say most of the flights carry almost 50% of their carrying capacity.
Only ATR flights with 72 seat capacity can operate out of Mysuru given its short runway (1,740 meters). However, only flights with fares subsidized by the government under UDAN are operating. The scheme was introduced to provide flight connectivity to tier 2 and tier 3 cites so as to spur economic growth and lure more investments to the region.
A non-UDAN flight was introduced from Mysuru to Chennai last November which underlined the growth in air passenger traffic from Mysuru and the potential to harness it. But it took a hit with the pandemic and the flight service was withdrawn and is yet to be restored.
Airport director R. Manjunath said all the six flights – to and from Mysuru – were recording atleast 50% passenger occupancy. In some cases, the occupancy rate was higher. There are flights from Mysuru to Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Hyderabad, Belagavi and Goa. “This is a far from the scenario that prevailed two months ago when there used to be handful of people on a single flight,” said Mr. Manjunath.
Though the Mysuru-Chennai sector is popular, flights are not operating daily and will become a daily service from the last week of October, according to Mr. Manjunath.
However, stakeholders in the tourism sector – which too has taken a hit – aver that situation is far from returning to normal and only people with business interests and official work were flying. “We don’t see many tourists and the surge in COVID-19 cases will further delay the resumption of normal tourism activities,” stakeholders added.
But they agree that the gradual increase in passenger traffic since September compared to June/July is an indication that business and economic activity was gaining traction. But it is going to be a longer wait for the tourism sector to attain the pre-COVID-19 days’ level of footfall.
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