Friday, March 31, 2017

Indian gov't awards first batch of RCS routes to 5 carriers

India's Ministry of Civil Aviation has unveiled the first batch of seventy-eight domestic routes awarded under its Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) or alternatively Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN).

Administered by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the RCS programme aims to increase the penetration of air travel among India's working and middle classes by subsidizing flights to the country's 400+ underserved Tier II and III cities. Financing for the flights is through a system of financial incentives including Central and State government concessions and Viability Gap Funding (VGF). The latter will be raised through the taxation of scheduled commercial flights between India's Tier I city airfields which include Delhi Int'l, Mumbai Int'l, Chennai, Hyderabad Int'l, Bengaluru/Bangalore Int'l, and Kolkata.

Initial RCS projections show the fare for a one-hour journey of approximately 500 kilometres on a fixed-wing aircraft, or a 30-minute journey on a helicopter, will be capped at INR2,500 (USD36.45), with proportionate pricing for routes of different lengths/duration.

During a press conference on Thursday, March 30, Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey said VGF would amount to INR2.05 billion rupees (USD31.6 million) for this round of routes which have been awarded to five operators including Air India unit Alliance Air, Deccan Charters, Air Odisha, TruJet, and SpiceJet.
30/03/17 ch-aviation