Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Karnataka government flies into airlines diplomacy to attract more footfall

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government has decided to intercede in the state's airlines business by asking more countries to operate direct flights to Bengaluru.
In an effort to up the ante to attract more business, be it in tourism or information technology sector, the government has taken the diplomacy route by approaching local consulates and is trying to lobby for a direct flight to the nation's IT-BT capital.
"We have approached a few consulates located in Bengaluru to try and lobby for direct flights from other countries to the city. With the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) being the third busiest airport in the country, we expect diplomatic efforts from our end to increase footfall to the state," said tourism and IT-BT minister Priyank Kharge.
According to the minister, the state has already approached few nations like Australia, Israel and Japan which have consulates in the city for the purpose of pushing their national carriers and private airlines to operate direct routes.
"So far, we have received a positive response from most countries and expect concrete results in future. Australia has even invited us for an international conference in their country to hold direct talks with Qantas, their official national carrier," said Kharge. The talks are for a direct route from Adelaide to Bengaluru.
Talks are on for a direct route from Tel Aviv, Israel to Bengaluru.
The government has also pinned hopes on a direct route between San Francisco in the US and Bengaluru, considering the two cities have signed a sister-city memorandum of understanding (MoU). However, international airlines are still concerned about starting operations as most are sceptical of whether direct routes would be able to attract fliers.
10/05/17 Sandeep Moudgal/The Times Of India