Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched UDAN, a scheme to help people to fly cheaply to small towns on 27th April 2017. “Air travel is now not just for the rich, I want air travel to be for all,” PM Modi said after flagging off flights from Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla. UDAN stands for “Ude desh ka aam naagrik”, meaning ‘the common man flies’.
The UDAN scheme seeks to give people from tier-II and tier-III cities a chance to fly at a ticket price of ₹2,500.
Airlines operating under the UDAN scheme have to ensure that the prices of at least 50 percent of the seats on their flights are available at a price of ₹2,500 each for an hour of flying. The Centre and State will provide viability gap funding for the airlines operating on the UDAN routes to ensure profitability of these flights.
Udan connects small towns with big cities. The lowest airfare is Rs. 2,500
The launch of the scheme was welcomed by industry. Commenting on the launch, Manish B Agarwal, Leader Capital Project, and Infrastructure, PwC, pointed out that in India air penetration lags its peers at similar income levels, and is at the cusp of rapid growth.
The maximum load factor from Shimla to Delhi will be 15, while from Delhi it will be 35. The fare for 24 seats will be ₹2,036. The VGF per seat will be around ₹3,340. This will be followed for the next three years.
- The Prime Minister’s Office said the airfare for a one-hour journey of 500 km has been capped at Rs. 2,500, which will be an all-inclusive charge.
- Under the scheme, five companies will operate flight services on 128 routes that will connect 70 airports across the country. The operators will include SpiceJet, Air Odisha, Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, Air Deccan, and Turbo Megha.
- “To make air travel accessible to citizens in regionally important areas, the ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ RCS (regional connectivity scheme) was launched in October, 2016,” the PMO tweeted.
- Of the 44 airports, the government had identified 22 which were flight-ready last year. The list included Bhavnagar, Bhatinda, Gwalior, Durgapur and Jaisalmer.
- The state governments had to be brought on board for the scheme. The tricky negotiations were carried out by Union Aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju.
- The air service under the UDAN scheme aims to to make air travel accessible to lower middle class families and enhance connectivity with more airports in the country.
- The Prime Minister also launched the Hyderabad-Nanded and Hyderabad-Kadapa flight of Trujet, which is also being operated under the scheme.
- The Trujet flights were launched through video conferencing by the Prime Minister who was present at Shimla airport to launch Alliance Air’s UDAN flight.
This is a major step taken by the Prime Minister in favor of the common people making traveling easy and economical. We hope it is implemented with the same honesty and dedication.
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