- The Ministry of Civil Aviation has prepared a draft scheme document for “UDAN International”.
2. Benefits of the scheme:
- Scheme will enable States to choose routes, provide subsidy to airlines.
- State governments will be able to encourage tourism on preferred international air routes by offering subsidy to domestic airlines for a period of three years.
- The scheme is designed for State governments to promote air connectivity on international routes.
3. The State will indentify international routes for which the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will determine a subsidy amount per seat and invite bids from domestic carriers.
4. The government will grant financial aid only for the actual number of passengers seat that are unsold, even if the airline had sought subsidy for a higher percentage of seating capacity at the time of bidding.
5. An airline that is awarded a particular route will have exclusive rights to a subsidy on that route for a period of three years.
6. The key difference between this scheme and the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) for domestic routes is that there is no capping of fares.
7. The RCS, makes air travel affordable, that is why the scheme was called UdeDesh Ka AamNagrik (UDAN).
8. The financial assistance to an airline will be offered from the International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF), which will be created through the contributions made by the State government.
9. Airlines will have to conduct a minimum of three and a maximum of seven departures on a given route on three days in a week.
10. The Centre has allowed airlines to enter into a code-sharing arrangement with international and domestic airlines for UDAN international.
11. At present, the low-cost carrier AirAsia operates daily flights to Kuala Lumpur from Bhubaneshwar with a subsidy from the State government on a per-flight basis.