Guwahati News Desk: About 50 new routes under Indian government’s ambitious plan to link smaller towns and cities to the wider air travel network through the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) to be made operational by November-end.
The announcement was made by the Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday.
In the announcement Scindia informed that out of this, 30 will be operational by October-end, and will be operated by airlines like Alliance Air (which will operate on six new RCS routes), IndiGo (4), Big Charter Private Limited (8), Spice Jet (4) and StarAir (8).
Regarding the UDAN scheme, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) launched the UDAN or Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik scheme in 2016 as a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) to enhance regional connectivity.
However, as per rating agency ICRA Ltd., only 47% of total routes and 39% of airports (unserved and underserved) have been operationalized under UDAN as of 31 May, 2021.
Moreover, the number of new RCS routes which started operations stood at 102 in the financial year (FY) 2019 and 120 routes in FY2020. These declined to 77 new routes in FY2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Civil Aviation Minister has set several targets for the MoCA that are to be completed in the next 100 days, including the launch of new routes under RCS, and he further added that the government hopes to operationalize five new airports under the RCS. These include Keshod (Gujarat), Deogarh (Jharkhand), Gondia (Maharashtra), Sindhudurg (Maharashtra), and Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh) that are to be operationalized in the coming days.
However, apart from this, MoCA also hope to operationalize six heliports under the RCS. These include heliports at Sanjoli (Shimla), Sase (Manali), Mandi, Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Haldwani, Almora (Uttarakhand).
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