Air Odisha, Air Deccan to begin services by Sept 30 under RCS 1

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 09, 2018

Air Odisha and Air Deccan, the two airlines which won the right to operate the maximum number of flights under the Government’s first round of regional air connectivity scheme (RCS), will begin operations before September 30, a senior Government official said on Thursday.

“The two airlines will be in a position to procure and mount flights by September 30, which is the cut off for launching flights under RCS 1. They might not be able to launch flights to some airports for a couple of months because of renovation of the airport and not for want of aircraft,” R.N. Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, said.

Air Deccan was awarded 34 routes (10 are unserved and 5 underserved), while Air Odisha won 50 routes in the first round of RCS bidding. An unserved airport is one to which there is no daily service, while an underserved airport is one which has not seen a flight for two consecutive flight schedules.

The first round of bidding had ended in March this year with the Government awarding five airlines — Air Odisha, Air Deccan, Alliance Air, SpiceJet and Trujet the right to operate RCS flights.

“It is very difficult for an airline to buy planes and keep them on the ground (in the hope) that they will win a bid and mount the flights. From the very beginning the scheme is designed to give a time of six months after the routes are awarded. This time is given as it is felt that this is the amount of time which is required for an airline to buy or lease aircraft and mount the flights,” Chobey said in response to a question on whether the Government was planning to ask operators to have aircraft with them before being allowed to bid for RCS.

Published on August 24, 2017

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