There was a time when air travel was only for the rich or businessmen.
With the introduction of low-cost airlines a few years back and the government of India taking initiatives, air travel has become cheap enough to reach the common man.
One such initiative is called UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik)!
Here are all the details you need to know about the UDAN scheme.
What Is UDAN?
UDAN is a first-of-its-kind government scheme in the world, which is aimed at bringing together different regions of India which were not accessible through
The scheme also aims at bringing airfares down and making air travel accessible to people from all walk of life.
The scheme was launched on 27th April 2017 and has been a success ever since.
The key Components Of UDAN
The UDAN Scheme has two key components. The first being the development of new and enhancement of the existing and operational airports in the country.
This will be aimed at equipping these airports to handle civilian domestic flights. Under this over 100 underserved and unserved regional airports will be developed by December 2019. This will be done at an initial funding of Rs 45,000 million for 50 airports.
In the second component, several hundred financially-viable capped-airfare regional air routes will be operated to connect over 100 underserved and unserved airports in smaller towns. Each of these towns will be connected to airports of bigger cities.
This will be done in three rounds of bidding that will be completed by the end of this year.
Number of Airports Under The Scheme
The government of India is looking to build and connect Indian airports in different regions to handle the growing domestic air traffic in the country.
The UDAN scheme aims to connect as many as 70 airports of India. These airports include 27 served airports, 12 under-served airports and 31 unserved airports.
As many as 17 out of the 70 airports are located in the North, 12 in East, 6 in North-East, 11 in South and 24 in West.
How cheap are the flights in UDAN?
The price for UDAAN flights will be very cheap.
The scheme has been designed to help the less connected people of the country to reach the major cities with ease.
The cost of living is cheaper in these areas and hence the income is lower too, which is why the government wants to price the ticket for Rs 2,500 on a 1-hour flight.
However, the caped fares are for now based on distance. For instance, Rs 1,420 will be the ticket price for a distance of 151–175 km, Rs 1,500 for a distance of 176–200 km, with a ceiling of maximum Rs 3,500 fare for a total distance of 800 km or more.
Why Are The Flights Cheap In UDAN?
The question that has left everyone’s mind boggling, is how is UDAN going to work?
Taxpayers are worried if the government is going to fund it with their money or if hidden costs are involved.
To put everyone’s mind at ease and help the airlines involved in UDAN, the government has allowed them to levy up the flight cost for passengers on major routes.
This in return will generate Rs.205 crore per annum, which can be translated to Rs.30 per passenger, on major routes like Delhi to Mumbai. This extended viability gap funding will be operational in coming three years.
States To Be Aided By UDAN
20 states and Union Territories are going to be served under UDAN.
The states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh.
Airports in Bhatinda, Bilaspur, Cooch Behar, Kadapa, Nanded, Neyveli, and Shimla are also going to benefit from this scheme.
The Future of UDAN
The Regional Connectivity Scheme is aimed at increasing flight operations for more than 100 airports by the end of 2018-2019.
New routes and airports are to be operationalized in near future. The government will open bids for the new projects soon.
For now, the airlines, which won the bid for 128 routes are Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha, and Air Deccan.
This is one of the best initiatives in the aviation sector that has been taken by the Indian government. It will not only help the people from rural areas to travel with ease but will also connect urban India to the remote places. UDAN is a milestone in the shaping of new India.
*The Report Is Based On The Data Released By The Government In 2018