Union Government on 21 October 2016 unveiled the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam naagrik), which seeks to get more people to fly in the smaller towns. The Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju who launched the scheme in New Delhi said the scheme is expected to be rolled out by January 2017.
The scheme UDAN envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation took a major step today towards making flying a reality for the small town common man.
• It is a unique market-based mechanism to develop regional connectivity, under which Airlines will bid for seat subsidies.
• Airline operators will bid for up to 40 subsidised seats and minimum seats will be 9. There will be 50 percent seats on market based pricing.
• The scheme ensures affordability, connectivity, growth and development.
• This first-of-its-kind scheme globally will create affordable yet economically viable and profitable flights on regional routes so that flying becomes affordable to the common man even in small towns.
• UDAN aims to increase ticketing volume from 80 million to 300 million by 2022.
• Under the scheme, airlines will have complete freedom to enter into code sharing with larger airlines for connectivity and they will be exempted from various airport charges.
• Airlines will get exclusive rights for three years to fly on a particular regional route.
• Airfares will be capped at 2500 rupees for an hour’s flight for regional flights.
• On each such route, the minimum frequency would be three and maximum of seven departures per week. Route networks would also be encouraged under the scheme to achieve economies of scale and optimal usage of aircraft.