What is UDAN?
UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is an initiative by the government to connect the country’s under-served and unserved airports. Under the Centre’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), five airlines have won bids to operate on 128 routes which will be connecting 70 airports. Out of 70 the airports, 31 are unserved and 12 under-served. While under-served airports are those which do not have more than a flight a day, unserved airports are those where there are no operations. The first flight under UDAN is expected to start next month.
Will the flights be easy on your pocket?
While the scheme attempts to tackle the issue of ghost airports, it also allows for reduction in travelling expenses. 50 per cent seats on each flight will come at Rs 2,500 per seat for one-hour travel. The operators will also be extended viability gap funding which will be operational for three years from the date of starting operations in a specific UDAN route.
Which are the states being covered by UDAN?
The flights will be connecting airports spread across over 20 states and union territories including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Some of the airports covered under the scheme include Bhatinda, Shimla, Bilaspur, Neyveli, Cooch Behar, Nanded and Kadapa.
Who will be operating these routes?
Five airlines, including SpiceJet and an Air India subsidiary, won the bid to operate on 128 routes. While the Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services won the bid for 15 routes, SpiceJet will be operational on 11 routes. Air Odisha Aviation won the maximum number of bids with 50 routes under it’s wing followed by Air Deccan (34) and Turbo Megha Airways (18).The carriers will operate 19-78 seater aircraft.