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More flights from state to smaller towns on the anvil under UDAN

DH News Service, Shemin Joy, New Delhi Nov 22 2017, 19:20 IST
Under the UDAN or regional connectivity scheme (RCS), aimed at connecting regional centres, airlines have to cap the airfare for an hour's flight at Rs 2,500. Image Courtesy: Twitter

Under the UDAN or regional connectivity scheme (RCS), aimed at connecting regional centres, airlines have to cap the airfare for an hour's flight at Rs 2,500. Image Courtesy: Twitter

The state may see additional cheaper flights connecting smaller towns under the 'UDAN' scheme soon.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) is going ahead with the second round of bidding for regional routes and by December 21, it will announce which operator will serve the particular routes.

Of the 141 proposals covering 502 routes received by the Ministry for which the counter-bidding has started, 20 either originate from these three airports or they are a stopover.

Under the UDAN or regional connectivity scheme (RCS), aimed at connecting regional centres, airlines have to cap the airfare for an hour's flight at Rs 2,500. The government will provide viability gap funding (VGF) to bridge the gap, but airlines can choose not to opt for it.

One of the proposals is to have a Hyderabad-Hubballi service, while another is of Chennai-Hubballi. Proposals for Bengaluru-Darbhanga, Bengaluru-Kannur and Bengaluru-Ozar(Nasik)-Hindon are also on the block.

Airlines are also bidding for Hubballi-Ahmedabad, Hubballi-Tirupati, Hubballi-Mumbai as well as Hyderabad-Koppal-Bengaluru routes. Other proposals on for bidding are the Chennai-Hubballi-Pune, Chennai-Kannur-Hubballi, Kochi-Hubballi-Goa and Bengaluru-Hubballi-Chennai routes.

In its presentation before the Ministry in July, the state government had identified a dozen potential air routes on which services can be started. These include Bengaluru-Kalaburagi-Bidar-Hyderabad, Bengaluru-Hubballi-Mangaluru-Bengaluru and Mangaluru-Madikeri-Mysuru-Bengaluru.

It had also suggested Mangaluru-Hubballi-Pune and Goa-Hubballi-Kalaburagi-Hyderabad routes.

The second round of UDAN will see the addition of more destinations from the north-east and Jammu and Kashmir. In the first round, no airline opted for services from Jammu and Kashmir.

The 141 proposals received in the second round relate to 502 routes and they include 161 that fall in the priority areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttaranchal and north-eastern states.

Before the second round of bidding, the Ministry had unveiled new norms to attract more airlines to operate services in Jammu and Kashmir, north-eastern states, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The aim was to increase services to these states, whose aviation potential have not been fully utilised.

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