The government's UDAN scheme received bids for 190 routes with fare limits of Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights. The ambitious UDAN scheme (Ude Desh he Aaam Nagrik) is aimed at increasing the air connectivity within the country and making flights affordable for the common man.
The government’s UDAN scheme received bids for 190 routes with fare limits of Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights. The ambitious UDAN scheme (Ude Desh he Aaam Nagrik) is aimed at increasing the air connectivity within the country and making flights affordable for the common man. Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha on Thursday addressed the media and said that the government hoped to have the first UDAN flight in February. He further added that several airports such as Jaisalmer and Cooch Behar were already prepared to go. Sinha termed UDAN as a game changer and said that the AAI had received 43 initial proposals from 11 bidders for 190 routes.
India is reported to have 75 functional airports in the country. Following the new bids under UDAN scheme, the number of operational airports is expected to rise up to 118 by February. Briefing the media, he added that soon there would be 118 airports would see regular flights. The bids for the routes would be finalised by February 3, he added. Of these 118 airports, 75 would be aerodromes and 43 would be connected under the UDAN scheme.
Sinha informed the media that the deadline for the submission of initial projects had ended on January 16, 2017, but the counter bids have a submission date of February 1. Following the deadline, the routes would be awarded to the bidders with the lowest Viability Finding (VGF) requirement against the routes. Under UDAN, the participating airlines would be extended VGF — that would be jointly funded by the Centre and the state government concerned. Towards VGF, the government has started charging Rs 8,500 levy per departure of flights on major routes.UDAN, which would be in place for 10 years, was launched in October 2016 and seeks to provide connectivity to unserved and under-served regions through the revival of existing airstrips and airports.