Sunday, April 15, 2018

Air Odisha to add Bhavnagar, Surat in network from tomorrow

Mumbai:  Air Odisha, which launched its flight services to Mundra, Jamnagar and Diu from Ahmedabad recently under the Central government's regional connectivity scheme Udan, has said it will expand operations to two new destinations from tomorrow.

Air Odisha will connect Bhavnagar and Surat with the capital city Ahmedabad, starting from April 16, a release said.

The announcement comes weeks after the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which is the implementing agency for Udan scheme, serving a notice to Air Odisha and Air Deccan to commence services on all the routes bagged by them in the first round of bidding within a month time.

The Bhubaneswar-based scheduled commuter airline is 60 per cent owned by two Ahmedabad firms- Gujarat State Export Corporation Limited (GSEC) and Monarch Netwroth Capital, while the rest 40 per cent stake are with the original promoter, the Pani family.

The airline also announced fares starting as low as Rs 1,420 for the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar flight and Rs 1,699 for a one-way trip to Surat from Bhavnagar.

"We are proud to launch two more new routes in Gujarat within two months since the launch of our operations," Air Odisha managing director and GSEC executive director Shaishav Shah said on the proposed new routes launch.

"We take pride in becoming a part of the Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (Udan) scheme, which is a great initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a vision to make flying more affordable for the common man and also fuel economic growth," he said.

Air Odisha, along with its strategic partner airline Air Deccan, won 84 routes together under the Udan scheme, in which air fares have been capped at Rs 2,500 for a one-hour journey.

Of these, Air Odisha bagged 50, while the rest were awarded to Air Deccan.

A total of 128 routes connecting 70 airports were awarded to five airlines in the first phase of bidding for flights under the scheme in March 2017.
15/04/18 PTI/Times of India