After unleashing a new life to domestic air-travel, Govt. of India’s ambitious regional air connectivity scheme: UDAN is all set to spread its wings in International locations.
Theoretically, this means that international air travel can be done for Rs 2500 per hour, which is the cap on domestic flights under this scheme.
But we are waiting for more details.
UDAN Will Expand To International Locations
As per reports coming in from the Civil Aviation Ministry, after a year’s successful run of Udega Desh ka Aam Nagrik or UDAN Scheme, Govt. has shown interest to expand the program into international locations.
Under UDAN, domestic flights tariff are capped at Rs 2500 per hour, and the difference in the air-fares is filled in by the Govt. as part of subsidy. 50% of all tickets in some routes are reserved for UDAN Flights.
More than 400 routes have been covered under this scheme, and there has been encouraging response to this offer. Private airlines like Jet and Indigo have used this scheme to further lower the costs and to encourage more air-travel.
But.. Is There A Problem?
As per some reports, Govt. wants to extend UDAN scheme to International carriers flying out of India: This means they can get a subsidy on each ticket which is booked under the UDAN scheme.
However, Indian carriers which are flying abroad have objected to this, and have requested Civil Aviation Ministry to consider only them for the international expansion.
As per a civil aviation official, Govt. has agreed to the demands, and only domestic carriers who are flying abroad would be asked to join the program.
International carriers would be invited after a year, it seems.
The unnamed official said, “There could be an argument for a level playing field for all airlines. But the thinking is to start with domestic airlines only. It could be domestic carriers now and international players can join in later.”
SpiceJet has already shown interest in flying abroad under UDAN.
Helicopter Rides Under UDAN Now?
In a related news, it has been revealed that soon helicopter services would be launched, under UDAN scheme, especially in hilly states like Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh.
76 routes have already been finalized, and companies like Airbus have already shown interest.
Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey has confirmed helicopter rides’ rollout in next few weeks.
In Uttranchal, cities like Mussoorie, Dehradun, Nainital, Almora and Joshimath would be soon connected with helicopter routes, wherein Himachal Pradesh, cities such as Kullu, Mandi, Dharamshala, Shimla and Manali would be covered.