Next round of bidding under UDAN scheme likely in three months, says Jayant Sinha

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 11, 2018

Jayant Sinha


Regional connectivity will ensure there are 200 operational airports

Bidding for the second round of short domestic routes under the UDAN ( Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme is expected to take-off within three months, Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said here.

The first round of bidding saw 128 routes being awarded to five operators — Alliance Air, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Trujet and SpiceJet.

The UDAN or regional connectivity scheme seeks to improve air accessibility of Tier-2, Tier-3 & Tier-4 cities at an affordable cost. Nearly 50 per cent of the seats on every flight across these routes are capped at ₹2,500 per seat for up to an hour of journey.

According to the Minister, the modalities and the routes for the second round will be decided through bidding processes.

“The second round of bidding for regional connectivity should happen in another three months time,” Sinha said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce (BCC) here in the city.

After the bidding process is completed, airlines or operators will be given another six months to start operations across these routes. “Hopefully, there will be more operators bidding this time round,” Sinha added. Amongst routes announced in Bengal for the first round, there will be flights connecting Kolkata to Burnpur (in Paschim Bardhman district), Andal (in Paschim Bardhaman district) and Cooch Behar (in North Bengal). There will also be a service from Cooch Behar to Bagdogra. All flights will be operated by Air Deccan. There will also be flights connecting Kolkata to Jamshedpur (Jharkhand) and to Rourkela (in Odisha) with Air Deccan being the operator.

Operations across all routes of Bengal are scheduled for a tentative start in July, sources said. According to the Minister, the regional connectivity scheme will see an increase in number of operational airports in the country. The first round saw 33 new airports being added to an existing 75, thereby taking the number up to 108.

“We hope that there will be 200 operational airports in India over a period of time,” Sinha said.

Published on May 09, 2017

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