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UDAN Scheme Takes Off Today, PM to Flag Off Low-cost Flight From Shimla

UDAN project, a regional air connectivity scheme under which the fares of flights will be capped at Rs 2500 per seat per hour, will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

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Updated:April 27, 2017, 11:19 AM IST
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UDAN Scheme Takes Off Today, PM to Flag Off Low-cost Flight From Shimla
File image of PM Narendra Modi. (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: UDAN scheme, a regional air connectivity programme under which the fares of flights will be capped at Rs 2500 per seat per hour, will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The PM will flag off a flight from Shimla to Delhi to launch the 'UDAN' (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme which is aimed at boosting regional connectivity, PTI reported. Flights will also be launched on the Kadapa-Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors.

The UDAN Scheme is a key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) which was released on June 15, 2016.

"Airfare for a 1-hour journey of approx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500," the PMO said. "This with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration," it said.

According to an official statement, 24 airports in the western region, 17 in the northern region, 11 in the southern region, 12 in east and six in north-eastern parts of the country are proposed to be connected under this scheme. Under this programme, the government intends to connect 45 unserved and under-served airports.

Five airlines were awarded 128 routes under the scheme last month after a bidding process, PTI reported.

The selected airline operator would have to provide 50 percent of the flight capacity with a cap of Rs 2,500 per hour on fixed wing aircraft and a minimum of five and a maximum of 13 on helicopters with the same price cap. Under 'UDAN', the operators would be extended viability gap funding.

The amount is estimated to be around Rs 205 crore per annum for the operators chosen in the first round of bidding.

State governments will provide a certain share of VGF. Nineteen states and three Union Territories have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for this purpose.

While in Shimla, the Prime Minister also address a rally at the historic Ridge Maidan. This will be his first visit to Shimla after becoming the Prime Minister. He had visited the capital of Himachal Pradesh last in 2003 when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

(With PTI inputs)

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