Sunday, January 21, 2018

Lack of clearance delays intra-state Udan

Ahmedabad: The wait just grew longer for people who had hoped to fly within the state to cut down on travel time. The intra-state flights to Diu, Dwarka, Jamnagar and Mundra that were to start on January 23 under regional connectivity scheme Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) has been delayed for a week, according to aviation sources. The buzz is that the service which was to be launched by Air Odisha is yet to get certain clearances which has resulted in the delay. Director (Civil Aviation), State government, Ajay Chauhan confirmed the delay.
The state’s intra-state flight service is a jinxed one with several past attempts to launch it proving unsuccessful. This is the fourth time that an attempt is being made to start the intra- state routes, after three previous attempts met with failure. Director, Gujarat State Export Corporation (GSEC), the strategic partner of Air Odisha, Shaishav Shah confirmed the development. He said, “There has been a delay in starting the intra-state flight service as requisite clearances from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) are still pending.
Now, the tentative date for launch of service has been shifted to February 1. We expect that all clearances will come through by then. Other formalities at the city airport are complete.” Arpit Chhaya, a finance specialist with a city-based corporate, was looking forward to use the service. He said, “I was really excited about the routes and rates that were announced. The rates are well within budget and I had plans to take a trip to Diu in the weekend. I guess the trip will have to wait for a bit. I just hope that the service launches.”
According to officials, as per earlier plan, the flight to each destination was to be available once a day, except Sunday. The same flight was to return to Ahmedabad to leave for another city. The fare for these flights range between Rs 1,420 for Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar and Rs 2,170 for Ahmedabad- Dwarka route. The Ahmedabad-Diu fare has been fixed at Rs 2,000 while an Ahmedabad-Mundra flight will cost Rs 1,830 and Ahmedabad-Jamnagar travel will cost Rs 1,750. The flight between Bhavnagar and Surat will cost Rs 2,000 each way. Gujarat attempted to launch its first intra-state air service in 2007.
21/01/18 Alok Brahmbhatt/Ahmedabad Mirror