The government expects to connect 33 destinations on 128 routes by five airline operators under the UDAN scheme by September, Union Civil Aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said today. With the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also called UDAN or “Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik”, the government aims to connect 45 unserved and under-served airports and make flying affordable by capping fares at Rs 2,500 per seat/hour. Five airlines were awarded 128 routes under the scheme in March after a bidding process.
Prime Minister Narendra had on April 27 inaugurated the maiden Shimla-New Delhi flight under the RCS. “By September, we are expecting that the 33 destinations will be connected,” he told reporters here.Noting that Salem airport in Tamil Nadu is inoperative, the minister said it is for the state government and airline operators to decide on providing regional connectivity. Under UDAN, the government has also extended subsidy in the form of viability gap funding to the operators flying on these routes.