The Civil Aviation Ministry announced the results for the third round of bidding under its flagship regional air connectivity scheme UDAN. Under the latest round of the scheme, 73 proposals were awarded to 11 airlines that will connect a total of 39 airports. These include 16 unserved airports, 17 underserved airports and six water aerodromes.
The 73 proposals awarded comprise a total 235 routes, which include 46 routes suggested by the Ministry of Tourism.
There were 111 bids from 15 airlines for the third version of UDAN, there were 107 unique bids, indicating lack of competition on most routes.
Under the first two phases of UDAN, airlines are already operating on 120 routes to 37 unserved and underserved airports.
Under the UDAN scheme, the government aims to connect unserved and under-served airports. On the routes selected under the scheme, a fixed number of seats are sold at fares, for which a cap is decided by the government. Airlines bid for routes with VGF they require to meet the costs and this funding is contributed by the civil aviation ministry and respective state governments. Upon technical qualification, the airline with the lowest VGF bid is selected to operate on the route with a three-year exclusivity.
For UDAN 3.0, the government received 111 proposals from 15 airlines including existing bidders such as Air India-subsidiary Alliance Air, IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, Turbo Megha Airways and new airlines such as Andaman Airways, Aarya Airlines among others.