UDAN 3: Only 7 Routes Operational out of 32 in NE
GUWAHATI: The UDAN scheme has failed to take off in northeast as merely seven out of the 32 awarded routes are currently operational under the (Regional Connectivity Scheme) RCS UDAN 3.
The regional director of airport northeast region (NER), Sanjeev Jindal, said that the implementation of the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme in Guwahati and the Northeast has not been up to the mark.
UDAN is the centre’s ambitious regional connectivity scheme which
aims to make air travel affordable for the common people. It also emphasises on air transport infrastructure development as well as improving the connectivity to various places in the country.
However, a majority of flights under regional connectivity scheme UDAN 3 are not operational yet in the northeast, informed authorities.
Speaking about the reasons for poor implementation of UDAN here, Sanjeev Jindal said, “Under UDAN, a few airlines like Air Deccan and a few others which took routes here were financially not viable themselves.”
On the other hand, established airlines like Spicejet and Indigo, often discontinue their flights if they do not get satisfactory load factor, that is, the number of passengers travelling in the route, said authorities.
Jindal further added that RCS 4 will be allotted in February and under the scheme, a lot of emphasis has been provided on the northeast region. “We are hopeful that new connections should come in this region and airlines will come forward to take the routes,” said Jindal.
Talking about the ways in which the scheme can be revived here, the director mentioned that those who can afford should travel by airlines so that the airlines do not discontinue their services due to the load factor issue.
Further, he opined that all stakeholders should work together to improve the scenario in this regard. The travel agents and tour companies should inform tourists about the available flights and encourage people to visit northeast, he added.
“They should also include places like Manipur in their tour packages. For instance, it is very important that travel agents in Bangkok should inform tourists about the flight operational from Thailand to Guwahati and encourage them to visit,” mentioned Jindal.