UDAN-II: Helicopter services included for 1st time; Kargil among 90 new air routes

Eleven fixed-wing operators have been granted rights for 67 routes and four helicopter operators have been awarded 23 routes.

UDAN-II: Helicopter services included for 1st time; Kargil among 90 new air routes

New Delhi: The government has awarded 90 routes to airlines as well as helicopter operators, enhancing air connectivity to 73 new airports and helipads in tier 2 and tier 3 cities to operate flight and chopper services to destinations like Kargil, Darbhanga, Pakyong (Gangtok), Cooch Behar, Jorhat and Almora.

Subsequently, airfare on these routes for one hour journey of 500 km on a fixed-wing aircraft flight or for a 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs 2,500.

"Udan-II has addressed the problem of (air connectivity in the) difficult areas (which are) basically areas with hilly tracks, where road connectivity is low or probably has no train connectivity," Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju said.

"... We will connect 29 unserved airports, 13 underserved airports to 36 served airports and 31 helipads. This is the first time that helicopter (services) are coming under Udan."

In all 73 unserved or underserved airports and helipads located in 19 states will be connected to 36 served airports through the second phase.

Eleven fixed-wing operators have been granted rights for 67 routes and four helicopter operators have been awarded 23 routes.

Among the major domestic carriers, IndiGo has bagged 20 proposals, SpiceJet got 17 while Jet Airways won 4 proposals.

In the first phase, contracts to five companies were awarded to operate flight services on 128 routes to 70 airports.

In April 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged-off the first Udan flight under RCS on the Shimla-Delhi sector.

Since 2017, flights under Udan-1 have commenced from 16 RCS airports.

With Agency Inputs

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