Saturday, October 12, 2019

Govt to invite bids for over 100 routes under fourth round of UDAN

The government is likely to invite bids for over 100 routes under the fourth round of regional connectivity scheme UDAN or Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik in 3-4 weeks, sources aware of the development told CNBC-TV18.

The next phase of UDAN is expected to include routes vacated by Jet Airways such as Allahabad-Lucknow, Allahabad-Patna, Delhi-Ozar, Allahabad-Indore, Nagpur-Allahabad among others.

Bids are also likely to be invited for routes cancelled by airlines like Zoom Air, Air Odisha, Deccan Charter among others, those which did not get any bids in the last round of the regional connectivity scheme and a large number of routes of north-eastern region will also find place in the upcoming bidding round, sources said.

These would include routes such as Tezu-Jorhat, Passighat-Shillong, Tezpur-Lilabari, Shillong-Dimapur, Imphal-Silchar, Chandigarh-Pithoragarh, Agatti-Minicoy, Pondicherry-Chennai, Cochin-Agatti, Nasik-Sindhudurg, Rewa-Bhopal among others. In addition, some new routes in Andaman and Nicobar Islands such as Hutbay-Port Blair, Jaipur-Sri Ganganagar, Delhi-Sri Ganganagar are also likely to be included in the next round of UDAN.

Players like Air Odisha and Air Deccan are unlikely to be allowed to bid in the upcoming round owing to their inability to start operations on most of the routes awarded to them in the earlier phases of UDAN, sources added.

UDAN, which promised to make air travel accessible to all, has not been able to fully take off even after three rounds. As per the latest official data, 200 out of the 719 awarded routes or only 28 percent of the awarded routes have been operational so far.
11/10/19 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18

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