Sunday, May 20, 2018

India to open more air routes

New Delhi: India’s Tourism Minister has called for stronger efforts to build better air connectivity to the country’s tourist destinations.

The Minister of State for Tourism, KJ Alphons, asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to pursue leads and begin talks with foreign airlines to open up routes that would draw more tourists to India, while increasing domestic tourism.

The talks focused on the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s so-called ‘Udan’ scheme that extends financial subsidies to build more routes to “under-served destinations”.
During meetings with the Minister for Civil Aviation it was decided that the ministry’s ‘Udan’ scheme could be extended to all under-served destinations and also to international destinations.

Established in 2016, the Udan subsidy scheme originally supported the development of smaller airports in India, to provide cheaper air travel on secondary routes. It will now extend to support the launch of services from overseas aviation gateways to points in India.

A recent IATA report showed that India was one of the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation markets in 2017 for the third year running.
Playing a role in this double-digit traffic growth, the Udan connectivity scheme  has accelerated support for airports in 2017. Around 56 airports in the country will ultimately benefit following support for 19 airports so far.

But the next phase sees the policy extend to international routes with Indian-based, and in some instances foreign airlines, in line for financial support if they are prepared to launch international flights from cities in Southeast Asia.
20/05/18 Don Ross/TR weekly