Monday, July 03, 2017

Chopper operators sidelined in UDAN scheme

New Delhi: While helicopter operators do yeoman’s service in difficult terrain, it is the bigger airlines which are all set to get a larger share of the market that has been created by the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme launched by the Union government.

The bid of the only helicopter operator, Pawan Hans Ltd, a PSU, got rejected in the first round of bidding as it had put a few conditions. According to sources, PHL wanted more compensation as they said the viability gap fund offered was inadequate to support the cost of operations.

With more airlines likely to jump into the fray for winning bids in the second round of bidding, helicopter operators are likely to find the turf lopsided.

After SpiceJet, IndiGo and Vistara are likely to join the second round of bidding for the regional connectivity scheme routes. The travel industry said there are many destinations in India which are still untouched.

It is learnt that IndiGo will acquire 50 aircraft for UDAN operations and SpiceJet has already acquired 50 aircraft for operating on RCS routes.
03/07/17 Abhijeet Anand/Statesman