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Govt to allot Rs 2.05 bn to boost air travel between smaller cties

PTI
Published : Mar 30, 2017, 5:25 pm IST
Updated : Mar 30, 2017, 5:25 pm IST

Govt has capped fares and is offering incentives to attract airlines to fly less traversed routes.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
 Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Aviation Jayant Sinha on Thursday said the government will provide Rs. 2.05 billion as financial support to boost airline travel between smaller cities.

"India launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme to get more people flying in what is already the world's fastest growing aviation market. Under the scheme, the government has capped fares and is offering incentives to attract airlines to fly less traversed routes. The government will also provide Rs. 2.05 billion for financial support to boost airline travel between smaller cities," Sinha told media here.

"There are five regional airlines that have been selected like Air Deccan, Air Odisha, Alliance Air, SpiceJet and Turbo Megha have emerged winners in the first round of bidding under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). The total viability gap fund which government estimates it will have to pay is to tune of Rs. 205 crore for RCS," Sinha added.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju asserted that 13 airports in Tier II and Tier III cities which did not have many flights in a week will see more flights.

"Forty three airports are likely to get flights under regional air connectivity scheme of Government. Besides 13 airports in tier ii and tiers iii cities which did not have many flights in a week will see more flights," said Raju.

Civil Aviation Secretary, R. N. Choubey claimed that the Centre is waiting for the Tamil Nadu government to sign an MoU for RCS flights to start between Salem and Chennai.

"The Centre is waiting for the Tamil Nadu government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for RCS flights to start between Salem and Chennai. The state government says it is open for this flight, but has not formally signed the MoU to start operations. The initial proposals cover 65 airports, of which 52 are unserved and 13 underserved," said Choubey.

Eleven bidders had submitted 45 initial proposals covering more than 200 Regional Connectivity Scheme routes under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme which seeks to encourage common people to fly.

January 16 was the last date for submission of initial proposals for operations under the UDAN scheme. 

Tags: airline travel, smaller cities, jayant sinha, regional connectivity scheme, udan scheme
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi