UDAN-2: 325 more routes; IndiGo, Jet Airways join with chopper operators

Affordable regional connectivity by air could soon be a widespread reality with India’s biggest airlines joining the Modi government’s ambitious UDAN (ude desk ka aam nagrik) scheme. The aviation ministry on Wednesday said IndiGo and Jet Airways are among the players awarded 325 routes in the second round of UDAN bidding. SpiceJet and Alliance Air,which had joined the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) in the first round itself, have got more routes. “In the second round, we have given RCS routes to helicopter operators also. In all, we got 141 proposals for 502 routes (for both planes and choppers). Letters of award have been given to 90 proposals for 325 routes. Out of these, 129 routes are in a newly created category of ‘priority areas’ that include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands,” aviation secretary R N Choubey said. In the first round of UDAN where fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour of flying in a plane for a specified number of RCS seats on each flight, 128 routes were awarded last March. But only 40 per cent of those have got operational till now as two airlines — Air Deccan and Air Odisha, which got 84 of those routes — are yet to start flying on a majority of them. Big Boys SpiceJet and Alliance Air started operating the routes given to them. Now with IndiGo and Jet also joining RCS, more routes will get operational. IndiGo has got 20 routes Kannur-Bangalore; Kannur-Trivandrum; Cochin-Hubli-Goa; Bangalore-Allahabad-Pune; Nagpur-Bhubaneswar-Allahabad; Mumbai-Allahabad; Hindon-Allahabad-Dehradun; Hindon-Gorakhpur-Allahabad and Hindon-Jaisalamer-Udaipur. SpiceJet was awarded 20 new sectors. “Out of these 20, 15 will cater to unserved markets of Kannur (Kerala), Darbhanga (Bihar), Ozar (Nashik), Pakyong (Sikkim), Kishangarh (Rajasthan)”

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com/

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