Five more south Indian cities will soon have quicker connect to the Bangalore International Airport (BIAL). In the next two months, FlyBus, a non-stop luxury bus service run by the state transport corporation, will ply to the airport from Madikeri, Tirupati, Salem, Coimbatore and Kozhikode.
The idea is that air travellers from these cities need not depend on other modes of travel to the airport in Bengaluru. The service presently runs from Mysuru, Manipal, Udupi and Mangaluru.
Interestingly, many of these cities Mangaluru, Mysuru, Tirupati and Kozhikode already have airports.
While BMTC’s Vayu Vajra services cater to Bengaluru commuters, the Flybus service by the KSRTC focusses on long-distance travellers heading to and from BIAL. BIAL has provided a designated place for the buses to be parked on its premises.
The start of the new services, however, depends on the arrival of new multi-axle Volvo buses.“We have already placed an order for 15 buses and the manufacturer has promised to deliver them in the next two or three months,“ Umashankar SR, KSRTC’s Managing Director, said.
“We chose to operate from all these six cities after consulting the airport authorities and based on the feedback received from frequent fliers. To start with, one bus will be deployed in each city and the number of services will be increased depending on the response,” he added.
The KSRTC is also working towards improving passenger comfort. Besides providing personalised in-bus entertainment system and free wifi, the GPSenabled bus also has a chemical toilet, pantry and live display of flight timings.
With a tagline ‘Switch to flight mode even before takeoff’, the KSRTC introduced the Flybus service to Mysuru in 2013.
It introduced a similar service to Kundapur and Manipal in 2015. With a total of seven services to these cities, the transport utility is making a profit after registering losses initially . While the cost per km is Rs 52, the corporation earns Rs 70 per km.
About 3.24 lakh passengers travelled from and to the airport in these buses in the past one year. The corporation currently has eight of these buses and all of them are apparently making a profit.