Buoyed by the success of Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik or UDAN, the government is working on another version of the scheme. States will now have the option to subsidise international flights from regions that are under-served but have the latent demand to become sizeable markets.
“UDAN Version II will allow the state governments to provide subsidy for international flights to be launched from their states. UDAN has now become a platform where we have the expertise and the capability. If the state governments want to start flights to international destinations, the central government will provide a platform,” civil aviation secretary Rajiv Narayan Choubey said.
Choubey, who was addressing the media at the four-day international aviation summit Wings, said Assam has decided to offer Rs 100 crore annually for three years to launch international operations from Assam to the Southeast Asian markets.
The civil aviation secretary said that the government’s biggest challenge today in the rapidly expanding Indian aviation market, which is growing at nearly 18 per cent, is offering airport infrastructure, and that too quickly. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has a capex plan of Rs 18,000 crore to be spent over next four years for airport expansion.
The government is looking at some changes to be made in the way airports are bid out. Choubey said the government is reworking the concession model for airports to make it investor friendly, and this revised model will be out in six months. FE