In a bid to make air travel cheaper in smaller towns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the UDAN scheme today that aims at promoting air travels in Tier-2 towns at a relatively cheaper rate. The first regional flight under the UDAN scheme, short for Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik, from Shimla to Delhi is being operated by Air India’s subsidiary, Alliance Air with fares starting from Rs 2036. Aimed at stimulating regional connectivity, here are five things you need to know about the UDAN scheme.
What is the UDAN Scheme –
India is the first country globally, to roll out a scheme that promotes regional connectivity through a market based mechanism. The UDAN scheme comes under National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP), released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation last year in June. Apart from Shimla-Delhi leg, UDAN flights will also be flagged off on Kadapa-Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors. Read – Government Plans To Shift To EVs By 2030
Will serve the ‘aam aadmi’-
The scheme, which is solely aimed at serving ‘aam aadmi’ will have relatively cheaper fares capped at Rs 2500 for 500kms. In attempt to curb pricing, several service charges, fuel taxes have been waved off to enable more Indians to travel by air on select routes. While dropping service & fuel taxes incentivises the airlines, a small levy on the existing routes will in turn be used for the scheme.
Better utilization of unserved and underserved airports
This scheme will not only serve the ‘aam aadmi’ but it will also avail better utilization of unserved and underserved airports like Shimla, which remains unserved since 2012 due to non-viability factor. Apart from the 27 currently served airports, the scheme will resume operations at 12 underserved airports and 31 unserved airports including 24 in western region, 17 in North, 11 in South, 12 in East and 6 in North-Easter regions. Through the 27 approved proposals, 22 states and Union Territories will be connected.
What all airlines will provide service –
Five airline companies have been chosen to provide subsidized airline service under the UDAN scheme, these are-Airline Allied Services (alliance Air), Spice Jet, Turbo Megha Airways, Air Deccan and Air Odisha.
Seating capacity and fare –
The seating capacity of the aircrafts under the scheme will range from 19 to 78. Additionally, around 50 per cent of the seats in every flight will be available at a fare cap of Rs 2500 on per hour basis.