The government on Thursday launched the second round of bidding under its air regional connectivity scheme UDAN, with select changes to bolster connectivity in hilly and difficult terrain.
“The second round has started… It is expected to fructify by November. Some key changes have been made in this round like allowing helicopter operations,” said Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
“Our focus has not changed. We still want the regional connectivity to happen. The first round is in the final stages of implementation barring a few difficult airports.”
The operations are intended to provide air connectivity to un-served and remote routes with airfare being capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour’s journey.
UDAN or Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik scheme is the regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme authority of the Modi government. The scheme is an integral part of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP). This scheme was introduced to make air travel easier and cheaper for the common people in Tier-2, Tier-3, and Tier-4 cities.
The first rounds of biddings were held on May 24, 2017 where five airlines won bids for 128 routes, which were previously unavailable. These routes were awarded to–Alliance Air, Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Trujet and SpiceJet.