Bidding for next round of UDAN flights within 3 months: Govt
Bidding for the second round of the regional connectivity scheme or UDAN, which seeks to make flying affordable on short domestic routes, is likely to conclude within the next three months, the government said today.
New Delhi: Bidding for the second round of the regional connectivity scheme or UDAN, which seeks to make flying affordable on short domestic routes, is likely to conclude within the next three months, the government said today.
"We are still deciding on when the bidding process will be open," Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said at a press conference.
The minister also said that he has received requests for making more flight services available to north Bihar.
"We need airlines to bid for these routes, only then can we work on airport availability and readiness," Sinha added.
He also said, as part of the second phase of the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), the government will host an event where all interested airline operators as well as cities and states interested in having enhanced air connectivity, will be invited.
Under the first round of RCS, 128 routes were awarded to five airlines last month.
The first flight under the first round of the scheme took off yesterday with Alliance Air, the regional wing of Air India, operating a flight between Shimla and Delhi.
Under the RCS, fares on selected short routes are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights.
The Centre and states provide financial assistance to airlines operating on the UDAN routes to make flying affordable.
Under the 'Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik' (UDAN) scheme, the government also aims to connect 45 unserved and under-served airports.
On the contentious issue of Regional Connectivity Fund, Sinha said, "We are very close to resolution and we think we have been able to address the concerns".
To provide funding for the flights operated under RCS the government had decided to impose a levy of Rs 7,500 to Rs 8,500 per flight on every departure on major air routes such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.
This has been challenged in court by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), which represents scheduled carriers like Indigo, Jet Airways, GoAir and SpiceJet.