Nearly 5 lakh air travelers avail UDAN flights: AAI

Mumbai-Porbandar and Mumbai-Kandla routes, connecting Gujarat's ports with the financial capital of the country, have emerged as the most successful routes with flights reporting 93% occupancy, the AAI said. (Representative image)

Nearly half-a-million passengers have availed the Modi government's subsidised regional air connectivity scheme — Udan — since its launch in April last year, according to data released by the Airports Authority of India on Sunday.

As many as 15,723 flights were operated under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme since its launch on April 27, 2017, with the inaugural flight on the Shimla-Delhi route.

Interestingly, the inaugural route ranks among the top five best performing sectors with 89% occupancy of the total seats available.

Mumbai-Porbandar and Mumbai-Kandla routes, connecting Gujarat's ports with the financial capital of the country, have emerged as the most successful routes with flights reporting 93% occupancy, the AAI said.

The UDAN flights have ferried more than 7.5 lakh air travellers from Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities by the eight airlines who have won bids for the regional connectivity scheme where airfares are capped at Rs 2,500 per hour of flying. Of the 7,50,650 air travellers, 4,58,872 got tickets under the UDAN rates, while the rest 2,91,778 were non-UDAN passengers.

The Delhi-Kanpur sector witnessed 91% passenger load factor (PLF) or seat occupancy, followed by Delhi-Shimla (89%), Hyderabad-Puducherry (88%) and Delhi-Adampur (Jalandhar) at 86%.

In southern India, besides Hyderabad-Puducherry, the Salem-Chennai was the most popular route with 80% seat occupancy followed by Hyderabad-Kadapa with 75% PLF. Chennai-Mysore route also saw 74% seat occupancy.

The Mumbai-Nanded route also witnessed high occupancy at 84%, Delhi-Bikaner (79%), Delhi-Ludhiana (77%), Allahabad-Indore (74%).

The worst performing routes were Shillong-Dimapur 1% PLF, Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar (9%), Ahmedabad-Jamnagar (13%), Diu-Ahmedabad (18%), Ahmedabad-Diu (20%), Vizag-Jagdalpur (21%), Ahmedabad-Mundra (25%), Chennai-Hubli (25%), Agartala-Shillong (32%).

In March, the government awarded 128 routes under the regional connectivity scheme, of which 50 and 34 were won by Air Odisha and Air Deccan respectively. However, according to the data, the two airlines have not flown adequate flights on the routes allocated to them.

Air Deccan has flown 5,093 passengers since the launch of the services, while Air Odisha has ferried 2,481 passengers, which is just about 1% of the total passengers flown under the scheme.

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Nearly 5 lakh air travelers avail UDAN flights: AAI

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