On April 26, 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged-off first UDAN flight from Shimla to Delhi under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). PM Modi also flagged off UDAN flights from Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh) to Hyderabad and Nanded (Maharashtra) to Hyderabad through video conferencing link.
- While flagging-off the Shimla-Delhi flight from Shimla Airport, PM Modi mentioned that UDAN flights will start operating from 70 airports across India in next one year.
About Shimla-Delhi UDAN Flight:
Travelling from Delhi to Shimla takes around 10 hours by road journey. Through the UDAN flight this distance will be covered within an hour.
- Exclusive rights to operate flights in Shimla-Delhi sector has been given to Alliance Air (subsidiary of Air India).
- Currently the frequency of this flight’s round trip is five times a week.
- The fare for 24 seats reserved for UDAN passengers on this 70-seater flight has been fixed at Rs. 2036/- per seat. 3340/- Viability Gap Funding (VGF) per seat will be provided to Alliance Air for next 3 years.
UDAN Scheme at a Glance:
Civil Aviation Ministry launched Regional Connectivity Scheme ‘UDAN’ (‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik’) in October 2016.
- It aims at making flying a reality for common people residing in Tier-II and Tier-III towns by providing air connectivity to currently underserved and unserved airports.
- It is implemented by Airports Authority of India (AAI).
- Ministry of Civil Aviation had released National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) on June 15, 2016. UDAN Scheme is a key component of NCAP.
- Airfare for UDAN passengers is proportionate rate of Rs. 2500 for 500 kms (for aircraft) and Rs. 2500 for 30 minutes (for helicopter).
- In first week of April 2017, Civil Aviation Ministry selected 27 proposals from 5 airlines to operate 128 routes across the country, connecting 31 unconnected airports. The 5 airlines are: Alliance Air, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, SpiceJet and TruJet.