An aircraft operated by Air India Ltd. is seen from a control tower as it taxis along the tarmac at Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) in Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

UDAN: Government Gets 141 Initial Proposals In Second Round Bidding

As many as 141 initial proposals for air services, including operating aircraft and helicopters, on 502 routes have been received under the second round of regional air connectivity scheme, the government said today.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the second round of bidding saw “good response” and that 17 players have come up with initial proposals.

The ambitious scheme, where fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights, seeks to connect unserved and underserved airports.

The initial proposals involve 502 routes that seek to connect a total of 126 airports and helipads. These include 49 unserved and 15 under-served airports as well as 24 helipads, according to the civil aviation ministry.

Out of the total proposals, 108 are for flying fixed wing aircraft and 33 for operating helicopters. Details of the players were not disclosed.

Civil Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said that for 20 proposals no viability gap funding have been sought by the bidders. Operators participating in UDAN are eligible to get viability gap funding.

On November 16, these proposals will be put up for counter bidding and the players in the second round are likely to be declared by the third week of December.

In the first round of bidding under the scheme, also known as Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik, 128 routes that would connect 70 airports were awarded to five airlines. Some of the routes are already operational.