Private Airlines are Showing Great interest in RCS: Jayant Sinha

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Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mr.  Jayant Sinha informed that private players in the aviation sector like Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet will aggressively participate in the second round of regional connectivity scheme Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN), under which fares are capped at INR 2,500 for one-hour flights, according to .

“The scheme has been so successful that IndiGo, which did not participate in round one of UDAN, is determined to participate in round two. It had placed an order for 50 ATRs for INR 10,000 crore to participate in second round,” Mr Sinha mentioned this to press and media.

SpiceJet has placed an order for 50 Q400 from Bombardier to participate more aggressively in round two. Jet Airways has also said that it would participate in the second round, he said.

India has around 400 airstrips, and after the first round of UDAN only 100 are to be operational. “We have a long way to go to connect the remaining 300 airstrips. In the second round, the Ministry has taken special consideration for priority areas, including the North-East and island regions like Andamans & Nicobar, and Lakshadweep to provide special concessions to operate helicopters and smaller aircraft,” he said.

Sinha was in Chennai to inaugurate a daily flight from Chennai to Mysuru by no-frills airliner TruJet of Turbo Megha Airways — a day ahead of Dasara festival under the UDAN scheme.

Today a flight from Vijayanagar to Hyderabad will be inaugurated under the scheme. Under UDAN, in one year (2017), 30 new airports were added to the aviation network, and Mysuru was one of them, he said.

Sinha said Chennai airport annually handles nearly 25 million passengers, and is growing at 10-15%. With this growth, the airport could reach saturation in the next 5-7 years. This warrants a greenfield airport for which the Ministry is in discussion with the Tamil Nadu government to identify 1,000-2,000 acres near the airport.

A greenfield airport takes 5-7 years to complete, and if initiative is taken now, it would be available when the existing airport reaches its saturation level, he said.

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