Logistics

RCS: Govt considering subsidy based on number of seats

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018

The Government to look at providing subsidy to flights operating under the Regional Connectivity Scheme based on number of seats rather than the weekly flights being operated by airlines. File photo

Also to relook at the minimum distance that an aircraft will have to travel to avail of the subsidy

The Central government could look at providing a subsidy to flights operating on regional routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) based on the number of seats rather than the weekly flights being operated by airlines. It could also re-look at the minimum distance that an aircraft will have to travel to avail of the subsidy.

This was discussed at the first stakeholders’ conference and pre-bidding’ meeting held here on Friday. Chairing the meeting, RN Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, agreed to re-look at both these issues. At the moment, the government’s plans are for providing a subsidy on regional flights based on the number of flights operated. To avail of this subsidy an operator has to fly a distance of at least 200 km. and operate a minimum of three flights a week and a maximum of seven on an RCS route.

At Friday’s meeting, a representative from Uttrakhand pointed out that Pant Nagar and Pithoragarh were two cities between which flights were possible. But the current RCS guidelines did not permit such a flight as the aerial distance between the two was about 130 km. The suggestion for a lower limit for the distance to be covered and to be re-looked at was accepted by government officials.

States woo airlines

Meanwhile, Odisha and West Bengal were among the States that indicated that they were looking at allowing government officials to travel by air within the State to give a fillip to those looking to start regional air services. The Andhra Pradesh representative also indicated that the State government was willing to reimburse the entire cost incurred by a regional airlines for setting up a flying base in the State.

It was in early July this year that the government unveiled its regional connectivity scheme which will cap airfares at ₹2,500 for one-hour flights to unserved and under-served airports that are 476-500 km apart.

This follows the government’s proposal to provide Viability Gap Funding for fixed wing aircraft flights covering 200-500 km provided at least nine seats are priced at an all-inclusive fare of ₹2,500.

Published on November 13, 2016

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