The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi flags off the first regional flight under the Regional Connectivity Scheme- UDAN at Shimla airport on 27th April 2017. Accompanied by Himachal Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and Union Ministers P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Jayant Sinha and J.P Nadda, Modi simultaneously flags off the inaugural RCS flights on the Kadapa-Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors through a video conference at the event in Shimla. Also, The Prime Minister announces that the next flight to take off under the scheme would operate on the Mumbai-Nanded sector.
Yet another great initiative was taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A feasible and viable scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) has been launched by the government of India to strengthen air travel between smaller cities by making flights cheaper and far more affordable for “tier 2” and smaller towns. The scheme promotes regional connectivity with flights covering distances up to 800 km through a market-based mechanism.
However, this great initiative was put forth back in October 2016 by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to enhance the regional connectivity through fiscal support and infrastructure development. The scheme Udan anticipates providing connectivity to airports of the country that are un-served or under-served and this year UDAN has been successfully launched by Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister at his public address in Shimla:
“Airfare for a 1-hour journey of approximately 500 kilometres on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500.”
“Earlier raja maharaja and the elite classes were supposed to make use of airline services but I want to see people who wear Hawai chappal (flip flops) in a Hawai jahaz (aeroplane).”
“Today, you can fly (UDAN flights) at rates that are cheaper than a taxi, which may cost Rs 8 to Rs 10 per kilometre. Under these flights, you can travel as low as Rs 6 to Rs 7/kilometer according to the new policy and reach Delhi from Shimla in an hour.”
The airline companies to work under the scheme are Airline Allied Services (Alliance Air), Spice Jet, Turbo Megha Airways, Air Deccan and Air Odisha. The seating capacity of aircraft under the scheme will range from 19 to 78, and 50 percent of the seats in every flight will have a fare cap of Rs 2,500 per seat per hour.
Modi said better connectivity would help the country’s youth who, given the opportunity, could change the “fate and picture” of India. UDAN will help in the growth of travel industry and make air travel accessible and affordable for people from tier 2 and 3 towns as well. The scheme will help in flourishing of the tourism industry and will greatly contribute to the economic growth of regional centres and development of the country. And above everything it will highly benefit the aam aadmi, people will have easy and less hectic travel hours through UDAN flights. All thanks to our Prime Minister Narendra Modi.