Mysore, July 26 (JP)-Hopes have once again been raised that the Mandakalli airport here will see at least one of the private airlines operating regular flights to and from this airport.

But sources in the Airports Authority of India (AAI), speaking to SOM on conditions of anonymity, said that Kingfisher Airlines had indeed been requested by the State Government to operate flights to and from Mysore.

The objection raised by the airline operator that the Mandakali airport was fit only for ATRs and there was no question of landing large aircraft fell on deaf ears. The State government is taking this up as a prestige issue and is ready to give a hefty sales tax exemption on air turbine fuel to fly out of Mysore. But it is the quantum of exemption that Kingfisher is seeking plus other concessions.

According to sources, Kingfisher Airlines has now handed a 'wish list' to the State Government saying that only if all the wishes are granted then Kingfisher will operate flights from Mandakali from Aug. 15.

Sources in the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told SOM that Kingfisher had applied with schedules and flight plan etc. The Regional Manager of Kingfisher in Bangalore was not available for comment.

Meanwhile, another private airline operator told SOM: "They want more than 50 % deduction in Sales Tax which the Government cannot give because other airlines will also ask for similar concessions."

A senior officer of another private airline, speaking to SOM said, "It makes no sense to fly to Mysore and other destinations. These politicians have no idea. All that they want is an airport in their backyard. The flight duration from Mysore to Bangalore is only 30 minutes including take off and landing time. But the journey from the Bangalore airport to the City will take you more than an hour. If the traveler is a businessman he will take a fast train or fast bus as it makes more business sense."

When asked about the presentation made by Mysore Zone of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to private airline operators a few months ago, he said that he had heard of the presentation and he was not ready to buy the story that "every month hundreds of software people would be flying in and out of Mysore."

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore