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Belgaum Air travelers face more tribulations

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After the closure of the AirDeccan Belgaum Mumbai Flight now the Kingfisher (earlier Air Deccan) Belgaum Bangalore flight, which was on a daily basis, will now fly on all days except Tuesdays.

Infact when I searched the website, to my surprise I got two different schedules. One in which there are flights on 6 days and one in which flights are there for 4 days.

http://www.flykingfisher.... SEE view schedules it will show flight for 4 days; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.

On the same page when it opens, click the Excel Format on the top Right of the current frame and an Excel format file opens in which the flight is for 6 days.

The same website but offers two different timetables.

This is effective from 19-Nov-08 to 28-Mar-09. So, all those fliers need to re look at things if you had planned otherwise. In this very blog today only, I had quoted our CM BSY saying that the Belgaum Airport expansion was going on in full swing and I have to write in this, which is very bad. You are expanding the airport for what cars or busses to move.

I checked out booking a ticket and the 4-day schedule is correct I guess.

So this means the KF flight to Bangalore is now on for only 4 days; Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.

Why are they doing it to us? Again, reason unknown may be they say load factor, may what it be but Belgaumites are here to suffer.


narayan82's picture

This is what happens....

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This is what happens if you rely on one mode of transportation. Just because you cannot fly, doesnt mean Belgaumites should suffer. Its a private airline, and if the profits are not there, they will not fly and no one can force them to do so.

Secondly, the Aviation Industry, is facing such a huge loss, where there are bound to be such trimmings in schedules.

But, imagine, you had a high speed rail link to Bangalore by train? And you sat in a train that looked like this:

This can take you from the Center of Belgaum to the heart of Bangalore in the same time, that a plane (including checkin- and airport commute) would get you in. It would be cheaper and you would be one step closer to saving the planet!

But yet.....we belive flying is the only way!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
belgaumblog's picture

why expansion then

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Why is the Govt expanding the runway of the Belgaum airport then to do go carting? Belagums airport is very old and also has a Air force base but still it has been neglected. In the early 1980's Indian Airlnes had a direct flight to Mumbai in those days and then suddenly on day the filght stopped saying that the Airport will be renovated somewhere in 1995 and all flights stopped out. When Air Deccan commenced service the flights started, once it was taken over by KF teh same old story will come. Aviation industry is in a crisis but still,and our Finance minister says we should not say there is recession. Belgaum is used to such kind of ill treatment for years and the same will continue, I guess.
narayan82's picture

Ask for the railways station

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IMO - the runway expansion is pointless. What percent of Belgaum's population uses air travel? My guess is it is very very low.

How much money is being spent on the Airport & runway? - 300 Crores?

Imagine, what you could do to belgaum Train and Bus station with that money?How many more Belgaumites would benefit?

I would say a MUCH larger percentage! But still we want the airport!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
silkboard's picture

Little flaw there Narayan

137 users have liked.

Agree with your point about exploring high speed rail as the option for intercity travel in the state. We did hear things like Bullet Train to Mysore (once as an April Fool joke on TOI, and then a serious sounding news piece about Bangalore Hubli rail link).

I always thought that since High Speed Rail is the type of project that the present environment favors

  • big money, so all get their "cuts",
  • high visibility - so you score publicity points
  • public friendly - rail is seen that way, a party can come and talk the same language as in your second comment above, airport is for elite, rail is for people.

Yet, we haven't heard more on High Speed Rail lately. Railways not being on State government's agenda, BJP govt won't get much by taking any initiative here. They may provide the push for it, goad railways into doing it, but at the end of the day, Railway Ministry will run away with the credit. This may change if BJP wins the next National election. But till then, any serious improvement to railways infrastructure may just stay as dreams.

One way out would be if state govt can think of building it as its own property - a new transport company with completely separate operating infrastructure. I think its high time state govts are allowed to own railway infrastructure inside its state, or build new rails or companies for the purpose of inter city connectivity. Leave Inter-state travel to India Railways. State's railway company can share the tracks, or build its own tracks to run inter city services.

Now, coming to one point I don't agree with is - Its not fair to say that hey, don't spend Rs 300 crore on airport, use it on other things instead. You need a good airport as well because it will connect Belgaum with not just Bangalore, but rest of the world as well.

And moreover, we should always ask for more, and not ask for swaps like these. 300 crore for airport expansion? Okay. So now Belgaumites should ask for 600 crores for railways and roadways. Who said there is shortage of money for public works!?

narayan82's picture


110 users have liked.

I understand your point. And If the Money is there to be spent on both, then so it should be. But, By providing a 300 crore upgrade to the airport, the govt. cannot justify its apathy towards other infrastructure non-development.

But, again in my Opinion, seeting up small new airports is a WASTE of money.

I think there is a bit of a Myth here. We belive (and are forced to by thier present state) that the only form of luxury travel is air. We belive that we cannot attend a meeting, clean, if we didnt take a flight or stay over night at a hotel. So once an airport arrives all these possibilities arise. I belive, that these can be achieved for short distance, intra-state journeys.

We know, that Air travel is one of the most polluting modes. We also know, Oil prices are always going to tend upwards. We know, Oil isnt going to last for ever. We also know, that air travel still hasnt found an alternative fuel unlike rail and cars. And lastly we know if we go on like this we are going to kill the planet and kill ourselves. Two genereations down maybe not have an earth forget the airport!

Still, we belive we need to setup airports in every small cow town! We could start by providing great connectivity to one airport. To me BIAL + High Speed Rail could solve probably 10 Airports in the state. And imagine how many less tons of oil we would burn at 37 500 feet?

I have no objections to the Govt Building airports, but with some reasonable thought behind them. I hope thier future (40 years from now) isnt people abonding thier trains and busses and going  by plane....coz there will be no fuel to fly the plane!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
prash454's picture

Narayanan, Nice image you

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Narayanan, Nice image you have inserted. From pic seems like to be from Europe based Trains. While we want the moon, are we prepared to pay equivalent fare? Rail travel in India for passengers (General) is highly subsidised. It is around 500 kilometers from Bangalore to Belgaum. The fare is Rs.256.00 (Rani Chennama Express). Compare this to a train which boasts similar things as shown in your pic (UK, Standard Seats, High Speed Train). Fare is 126 Pounds for travel between London and Edinburgh which is around the same distance (540 kms). Even accounting for distortion due to higher income levels in UK, its still massively expensive. Infact, train travel is not the cheapest either in states or europe and hence people prefer to travel either by bussesor private vehicles or air. In India, we are accustomed to cheap train travel and hence the kind of safety standards we see are in par with the kind of payments we make. In Europe you rarely hear about Train Accidents and even when they happen, casualties are in single digits. Here on the other hand, we are so accustomed to people killed by hundreds that rarely have we seen any action taken to avoid the kind of toll it takes.
narayan82's picture


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Yes true, Britan rail travel is expensive. But not if you book in Advance. An Apex Return from london to Scotland can cost you only 25 Pounds. And its still not always cheaper than last minute air travel.

But look at the rest of europe - Germany, Holland, Austria, Switzerland and France. They use a LOT of rail too. And its comfortable and affordable.

We dont need very fancy trains. But what we have now is just plain pure bad design. With the same money spent on the coach, it can be designed in a much more aesthteic, efficient and comfortable way.

The cheapest Plane ticket to Chennai from BLR is 2000 - the most exp rail ticket is 1000 (Executive Chair Class - Statabdi). I think there is more Train can offer than what we are getting now. It shud have never come to the stage where Air Travel gets to compete.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
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