Fulfulling Narendra Modi’s vision of regional connectivity, Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Thursday awarded 128 routes to a total of five operators under UDAN wherein fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights. “UDAN network will cover the whole country, giving a major economic boost to hinterland areas,” the minister said. He also added that UDAN will have a positive effect on the economy, in terms of employment and investment. Further, chalking out the details of the scheme, MoS Aviation Jayant Sinha said that the first flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme will take place in April. “Criteria on the basis of which airlines were selected was the extent of VGF – viability gap funding – demanded by them. UDAN will stimulate the growth of regional aviation market in India,” he added. Here’s all about the scheme:
1) Over 45 unserved and under-served airports would be connected under the scheme — UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) that seeks to make flying more affordable.
2) The operators are Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, SpiceJet, Air Deccan, Air Odisha and Turbo Megha. They would be operating 19-78 seater aircraft.
3) The airports that would be connected under UDAN include Bhatinda, Puducherry and Shimla.
4) On each flight, 50 per cent of the seats would have a cap of Rs 2,500 per seat/hour, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said. Under UDAN, the operators would be extended viability gap funding.
5) The amount is estimated to be around Rs 205 crore per annum for the operators chosen in the first round of bidding, Choubey added.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the scheme provides for various benefits including no airport charges and three-year exclusivity on the routes. Craig Mager Authentic Jersey