Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Air Odisha starts flying; fares start Rs1,800

Air Odisha launched its air services on regional routes on Saturday, 17 February, with round trips from Ahmedabad to Mundra, and Ahmedabad to Jamnagar. The maiden flight from Ahmedabad to Mundra (in the Kutch district) was inaugurated by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani. From 24 February 2018, the Bhubaneswar-based operator will add return trips from Ahmedabad to Diu. Flight prices begin at Rs1,801, taxes inclusive, for a one-way trip from Ahmedabad to Jamnagar.

Air Odisha shares its network and resources with Bengaluru-based carrier Air Deccan, via a new joint venture with Gujarat State Export Corporation Ltd and Monarch Group, reported Business Standard. Air Odisha bagged 50 routes while Air Deccan got 34 routes of the 128 routes granted to five carriers in March 2017, under the central government’s subsidised regional connectivity scheme Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN). In early 2018, 325 routes were extended to 15 airlines and helicopter operators. UDAN aims to serve lesser-connected airports in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, and caps fares at Rs2,500 per hour of flight on a fixed-wing aircraft and a 30-minute flight on a helicopter.
Both operators fly the 18-seater Beechcraft B-1900D plane. Apart from Ahmedabad and Bhubaneswar, Air Odisha will operate out of Delhi, Chennai and Raipur. There are plans for a connection between Chennai, Puducherry, Salem and Bengaluru. Also on Air Odisha’s radar are cities like Utkela, Ranchi, Gwalior, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Surat, Bhavnagar, Neyveli, Kadapa, Jharsuguda, Jagdalpur and Visakhapatnam. Air Deccan plans to connect Kolkata to Jamshedpur, Cooch Behar, Rourkela, Durgapur and Bagdogra on 28 February, The Economic Times reported, with upcoming connections to Shillong, Dimapur, Aizawl and Silchar.

Air Odisha started its services as a non-scheduled operator in 2012 and received the flying permit under UDAN from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation in early February 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate its Ahmedabad-Diu flight on 25 February 2018, reported The Economic Times.
19/02/18 Saumya Ancheri/Conde Nest Traveller