Saturday, September 09, 2017

IndiGo may participate in second round bids for UDAN; to buy 50 aircraft

Bhubaneswar: Low-cost carrier IndiGo is likely to participate in the second round of bidding in the Regional connectivity scheme (RCS), popularly known as the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik).

To reap the benefit of the RCS, IndiGo had announced its plans to buy 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft worth $1.3 billion. France based ATR is the world leader for below 90-seater regional aircraft.

"The government has come up with the policy (RCS). The first round of bidding has already taken place and the second round is going to happen now. There are a lot of airstrips which are not connected with the country, for example, Agra. Now, we have placed an order of 50 ATRs for induction into the fleet that will help us capture this opportunity in a big way," said Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer of IndiGo Airlines.

Kumar was speaking here at the 33rd annual convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO). He said that the new policy is a big incentive for airline operators not only of IndiGo's size but also for the new start-up carriers.

At present, IndiGo operates with a fleet size of 140 carriers and touches 39 destinations in the country.

UDAN seeks to connect un-served and under-served airports as well as make flying more affordable for the masses. The scheme would be in operation for a period of 10 years. It has a market-based mechanism in which airlines bid for seat subsidies.

"We are embarking on a journey to build a nation-wide regional network and connect cities that have not benefited from the growth in Indian aviation. The ATRs low operating costs will help us build a large regional air travel network with reasonable fares. These aircraft will feature modern cabin interiors, thus making the flight a comfortable experience for our passengers", Aditya Ghosh, President of IndiGo had said in a previous statement.
08/09/17 Nirmalya Behra/Business Standard