Friday, October 21, 2016

10 things you need to know about UDAN

The Centre's ambitious plan to make flying to smaller cities in the country more affordable has received its fair share of criticism and accolades. We break it down for you, so you don't have to chew too hard. Here are 10 things to remember whenever the conversation turns to UDAN.

1) UDAN stands for Ude Desh ka Aam nagrik

2) It's a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) aimed at boosting budget regional flying

3) The RCS project was announced by the government on 1 July

4) Small towns will be connected by flights with fares for half the seats on one-hour flights capped at Rs2,500. The fares on the remaining seats will be market-based.

5) The government will provide funding to make the project viable and spend Rs4000 crore ($598 million) to reopen 50 disused airports within four years.

6) Aviation secretary RN Choubey said a levy, "which will be a very nominal one" will be announced by the month-end. It is estimated that if airlines pass on this levy to flyers, the increase in cost per ticket is unlikely to be more than Rs60.

7) Existing airlines are opposing the move to introduce one more levy on flyers in the form of RCS fee

8) State-owned carrier Air India will start flights under the RCS project in January, according to airline's chairman and managing director, Ashwani Lohani.

9) The Centre hopes that it will lead to the sale of Rs30 crore air tickets a year in the domestic sector by 2022 and Rs50 crore by 2027.

10) On each RCS route, the minimum frequency of flights would be three and a maximum of seven in a week.

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