On January 24, 2018, Central Government awarded 325 more routes to airlines as well as helicopter operators under its regional connectivity scheme, UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik).
Information about second round of bidding under UDAN:
In awarding routes under second round of bidding, emphasis was laid on flight services to hilly and remote areas, including Kargil.
- After flight services start on these routes, a total of 56 new airports and helipads will be connected to 36 existing aerodromes.
- These routes have been awarded to 15 airlines and helicopter operators. Among the major Indian airline operators, IndiGo’s 20 proposals, SpiceJet’s 17 proposals and Jet Airways 4 proposals have been approved.
- Interestingly, in this second round of bidding, four helicopter operators have been granted rights to fly on selected routes.
- Under UDAN scheme, Airline operators have to offer half of their seats at discounted rates while helicopter operators have to offer up to 13 seats at lower fares.
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 April 2017, post first round of bidding, Civil Aviation Ministry selected 27 proposals from 5 airlines to operate 128 routes across the country, connecting 31 unconnected airports.