In good news for pilgrims visiting Tirupati, a non-stop luxury bus service was flagged off by the Karnataka Road State Transport Corporation on Monday in Bengaluru, which will connect the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAL) to the temple town.
"The service will ferry domestic and international passengers to and from Tirupati to the airport in 5 hours both ways," Karnataka State Road Transport Corp (KSRTC) official R. Girish told IANS in Bengaluru.
The average distance between the destinations is about 280 km.
The 'Flybus' service will operate twice a day from the airport -- at 10 am and 10 pm, reaching Tirupati at 3 pm and 3 am. The bus will leave Tirupati at 11 am and 9 pm, and reach the airport at 4 pm and 2 am.
"As the world-famous Hindu god Venkateshwara and his consort Padmavathi temple attract thousands of devotees from across the country and abroad, the service will facilitate them to reach Tirupati at the earliest and catch return or connecting flights from Bengaluru conveniently," said Girish.
The corporation operates similar services for air passengers to and from Mysuru, Madikeri, Mangaluru and Kundapura in Karnataka and Coimbatore and Salem in Tamil Nadu daily.
Recently, the airport authority and KSRTC announced that the Flybus service introduced in 2013 has proved to be very popular. The first service was launched between Bengaluru and Mysuru.
With this, the airport is able to cater to passengers from not only smaller cities and towns in the state but also from other neighbouring states.
Flybus service is categorised by KSRTC as a nonstop luxury service having personalised entertainment systems, free wifi, GPS tracking, chemical toilet, pantry and real-time updates of flight timings.
These bus services have also partially contributed to the rising passenger numbers.
Recently, the airport achieved second place among the top 20 fastest-growing major airports in the world.
It also notched up a daily record with 98,869 passengers arriving and departing on June 30, marking the busiest day at Bengaluru Airport – since start of operations.
As the country's third largest airport, the Kempegowda airport handled 80 lakh passengers in the first quarter (April-June) of this fiscal (2018-19) after registering 269 lakh passenger movements in fiscal 2017-18.
With IANS inputs