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Centre unveils connectivity scheme UDAN

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The Centre has unveiled a regional connectivity scheme, known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), with flights priced at Rs.2,500 for one hour of flying time to and from regional airports, but raised the subsidy amount to be paid to regional airlines from the level proposed in a draft scheme.

Even as the government said the first flight from smaller cities under the scheme should take off by January, it remained tight-lipped on the amount of levy to be imposed on flyers on regular routes to fund the subsidy. The government will provide subsidies to regional airlines to offer half the seats on a discounted rate.

On the day of its launch, airlines expressed concerns on the modalities of the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme, with SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh pointing out that concessions need to be extended to large airports to which flights will be connected from regional airports.

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