Five Airlines Win Bids To Connect Underserved, Unserved Airports
Varanasi Airport. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Five Airlines Win Bids To Connect Underserved, Unserved Airports

Five Indian airlines won bids to operate flights to 33 unserved destinations in the country as the government looks to boost regional connectivity by compensating the losses of carriers.

SpiceJet Ltd., Air India Ltd.’s subsidiary Alliance Air, Turbo Megha, Air Deccan, and Air Odisha have collectively won rights to operate on 45 routes for three years under the regional connectivity scheme, named Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN), according to the Ministry of Civil Aviation. All cities falling under the scheme are either unserved or underserved right now.

It’s an attempt to improve regional connectivity by limiting airfares on the routes to a maximum of Rs 2,500 per hour. The discounted fares would be applicable on 50 percent of the seats on each flight, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said.

The government plans to add a total of 128 destinations under the scheme, and has received 27 proposals so far. It will provide Rs 205 crore as viable gap funding in the first phase to support the scheme, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said.

Flights under UDAN are scheduled to commence in April, Sinha said, adding that flights were expected to be operational on all routes by September. As for the second phase of operations, the government said it would be rolled out soon.

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