Govt prop for pvt airlines to link up small cities

Govt prop for pvt airlines to link up small cities

Govt prop for pvt airlines to link up small cities

The State government will extend all support to private airlines to operate flights to small cities like Mysore and Gulbarga, Tourism Minister R V Deshpande said on Friday.

He told reporters here that the government was talking to low-cost airlines in this regard.
According to Deshpande, the government is interested in ensuring air connectivity to Mysore, Bijapur, Gulbarga and Bellary in order to boost tourism.

Normally, tourists visit only up to Goa in the South. Visitors to Karnataka think Hampi is the only tourist destination in the State. If proper facilities, especially connectivity, were provided, tourists would certainly like to explore more places. Karnataka has immense tourism potential, Deshpande stressed.

A proposal from the Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) to extend certain incentives and concessions to airlines to operate flights in small cities has been pending before the government for long.

Airlines want the government to ensure that specific number of seats are booked on every flight from small cities as they feel operating flights to smaller destinations was economically unviable.

Moreover, the proposed greenfield airports in Bijapur, Bellary, Gulbarga and Shimoga have been grounded. While promoters of Bijapur and Bellary airports have to back out, firms developing airports in Gulbarga and Shimoga are tussling over alleged financial mismanagement. As a result, work on Gulbarga and Shimoga airports has been stopped.

Deshpande said he had urged the Union Railway Minister, M Mallikarjun Kharge, to introduce Shatabdi services to destinations such as Hampi and Shravanabelagola to promote tourism.

Besides, he had directed the Tourism Department to prepare a detailed report on tourism potential of each of the 30 districts in the State and chalk out strategies to promote tourism.