Three flights to Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai to be stopped from Saturday

In a setback to air travellers, three airlines are set to withdraw a total of five domestic flight services at Mangalore International Airport from March 29.

Sources in the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and airlines told The Hindu that the five services to and from Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai would be withdrawn from Saturday when the summer schedule of airlines would come into effect.

A major impact of this decision is that there would be no direct daily flight connectivity between Mangalore and Hyderabad and the lone late evening daily flight service from Mangalore to Bangalore would come to an end. However, Direct connectivity to Bangalore and Mumbai would not be severely affected as there are other operational flights.

Last month, the Air India Express had withdrawn its international flight between Mangalore and Kuwait.

Airlines

Sources said that Spicejet would withdraw its direct daily flight between Mangalore and Hyderabad. This flight arrived at 8.50 a.m. from Hyderabad and departed at 3.15 p.m. (except on Tuesday when it departed in the noon) to the Pearl City.

Jet Airways would withdraw its late-evening daily flight which arrived from Bangalore at 10.05 p.m. and departed at 10.35 p.m. Jet would also withdraw a flight that operated daily except on Tuesdays, sources said. This flight arrived from Bangalore at 11.25 a.m. and departed to the State capital at 11.55 a.m.

The Air India Express would withdraw its two services that operated four days a week — on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays, sources said. A flight arrived from Mumbai at 4.15 p.m. and departed to Bangalore at 5.15 p.m. Another flight arrived here from Bangalore at 8.15 p.m. and departed to Mumbai at 9.15 p.m.

Sales tax on fuel

Sources said that sales tax on aviation fuel imposed by the State government was highest in Karnataka which was at 28 per cent compared to four per cent in some other states. Hence airlines were finding it difficult to manage and were diverting their operations to other airports like Lucknow, Ranchi, Raipur and Bhubaneshwar, where the tax on aviation fuel was less.

Other reasons cited were shortage of aircraft following expiry of leased period with companies, less passenger traffic added with high fuel tax and other “operational reasons”.

Sources said that with this the daily movement (arrival and departure) of flights at Mangalore International Airport would come down from 38 to 28. The AAI would also suffer revenue loss in terms of parking fee, user development fee and other fees.

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