Bus, air travel not yet hit

It is difficult to attribute cancellation of reservations to H1N1

 
The officials of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) said the reservation bookings are yet to be affected.

KSRTC General Manager (Traffic/Operations)K A Rajkumar said,“There has been no significant drop in bookings of tickets through advance reservation facilities. The months July, August and September are slack months for the KSRTC, so far as bookings go. It is difficult to attribute this to swine flu.”

The KSRTC now looks forward to the annual dasara and deepavali festival season in October and November to cash-in-on the holiday plans of its passengers. “Whether it is Mumbai, Pune or Mangalore, we are yet to see impact of flu on travel plans of people. As of today, our inter-State long distance operation is normal. A month later, a clearer picture could emerge,” said Rajkumar.

A private bus operator, Durgamba Travels, a big name in the coastal belt of South Canara region, Mangalore too said they will have to wait and watch for another month to actually gauge the drop in passenger travel. “There is no significant decrease in volumes , that can be attributed to swine flu. But on Tuesday our buses from Mangalore to Bangalore and back were unusually, close to  empty,” said Sadanand Patra of Durgamba Travels, in Kundapura.

Cautious

Anand Raj Purohit, Head-Operations (Air and Buses), from viaworld.in, an online travel portal opined that the South of India is yet to see an impact on travel plans of people.

“There seems to be a complete hype on the disease. However, people are cautious on travelling to destinations where deaths due to swine flu have been reported. Yes, panic is clearly evident, but with the long Independence Day weekend expected, airline bookings could go up,” he said.

He said, the flu scare has seen a marginal dip in airline bookings to the USA and Europe, while business travel seems to be normal.

Sources in the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) and national carrier Air India also said the impact on air travel by the flu scare is not evident. However, international departures and arrivals to and from South East Asian nations show a marginal decline in load factor, they said.

A spokesperson for Kingfisher Airlines said load factor on their airline in the domestic sector has not been affected, post increase in swine flu cases or deaths. “People are cautious and are taking all necessary precautions in view of the flu. The industry is already facing lot of issues. Nobody would want a flu to come in the way of the industry, that is hoping for some sunshine,” said the Kingfisher spokesperson. The airline has taken steps to distribute surgical face masks and health declaration marks to passengers on-board flights, the spokesperson said.

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