Jet Airways removes Guwahati - Aizawl flight for rising Fuel Prices and Depreciating Rupee; Did UDAN scheme fail in NE?
GUWAHATI: Jet Airways, a Mumbai-based airline, which enjoys a huge market share of passengers is trying to stay afloat by slashing flights on less profitable routes and adding capacity on those that offer high returns. Henceforth, in a move to curtail the losses Jet Airways had withdrawn flights to Silchar, Jorhat, Aizawl and Imphal in the Northeast region from February 10, 2019.
As per a report on the 'The Hindu', the prime reason for the withdrawal was because of fuel price rise, a depreciating rupee and a difficult pricing environment. Earlier, flight operators like Kingfisher Red, Air India, SpiceJet were among the few to offer flights to Aizawl.
It is to be mentioned that the government’s flagship regional connectivity scheme, UDAN, which stands for “Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik” which was launched in 2017, had aimed to put smaller cities on India’s air map by the aid of fiscal incentives, infrastructure support, procedural simplifications and monetary subsidies.
The Hyderabad-based Air Deccan, which won exclusive rights in the UDAN bidding to connect Meghalaya capital Shillong to Aizawl, Agartala, Silchar, Dimapur and Imphal, operated only 10 flights to Agartala and Dimapur in May 2018.
The Delhi-based Zoom Air operated between Assam’s Tezpur and Kolkata for only three months, till July 2018, before withdrawing owing to “technical issues.” And from September 1, 2018, SpiceJet suspended its operation from Agartala and finally joining the league Jet Airways had withdrawn owing on economic grounds.
While aviation experts say the scheme has not been able to add wings because it is aimed more at reaping more political benefits than increasing connectivity. Furthermore, it does not have enough incentives for airlines to ignore the issue of viability.