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Indian Government awards 128 air routes under regional connectivity scheme

Thursday, Mar 30, 2017,15:10 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | Five airlines will operate on 128 routes under the regional connectivity scheme wherein fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights.

Over 45 unserved and under-served airports would be connected under the scheme — UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) that seeks to make flying more affordable.

Announcing the names of winning bidders and the routes, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey today said 128 routes are being awarded to a total of five operators.

The operators are Air India subsidiary Airline Allied Services, SpiceJet, Air Deccan, Air Odisha and Turbo Megha.
They would be operating 19-78 seater aircraft.

The airports that would be connected under UDAN include Bhatinda, Puducherry and Shimla.

On each flight, 50 per cent of the seats would have a cap of Rs 2,500 per seat/hour, Choubey said.

Under UDAN, the operators would be extended viability gap funding.

The amount is estimated to be around Rs 205 crore per annum for the operators chosen in the first round of bidding, Choubey added.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the scheme provides for various benefits including no airport charges and three-year exclusivity on the routes.