UDAN to Connect 31 More Airports

The aviation ministry said the first regional flight under the policy to make air travel accessible to the common man, Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik scheme, will start from next month after it selected 27 proposals from five airlines to connect 128 routes across the country, connecting 31 more unserved airports.

Under the scheme, the government aims to enhance grassroot adoption of aviation as a transportation medium and offers carriers cash subsidies for selling up to 40 seats per aircraft at Rs.2,500 for each hour of flight.

The five selected airlines are Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha Airways Pvt (TruJet), Air Deccan and Air Odisha Aviation Pvt Ltd (Air Odisha).

Of the five airlines, three will have to apply to the DGCA for Airline Operator Permit under the scheduled commuter category. Alliance Air and SpiceJet do not have to apply for any such permit and can start regional flights right away.

Through the UDAN scheme, the government will provide connectivity to 31 more airports in the country.

The government said the subsidy outgo on account of regional flights for the first year of operation will be in the range of  Rs.205 crore, which will be funded by charging Rs. 50 per passenger on trunk routes.

The government also said they had received 43 proposals from 11 airlines for connecting 200 routes. Of the 11, only five airlines were selected.

Another round of bidding for the second phase of the UDAN scheme will begin soon.

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