Regional Connectivity Scheme Current Affairs - 2019

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Fact Box: Alliance Air flags off Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal flight under UDAN-RCS

Alliance Air has flagged-off its first flight operations between Guwahati in Assam to Dimapur (largest city of Nagaland) and Imphal (capital of Manipur), under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN). This direct 50 minute-long flights connecting Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal is under a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), part of government’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) programme.

The commencement of flight operations in region marks another step by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to establish a strong air network in North East India. The Alliance Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, currently connects 57 destinations and with addition of Dimapur and Imphal, there will be 59 stations in its ambit.

Key Highlights

A 70-seater aircraft will be deployed on these routes by the airline with the price of a one-way ticket from Dimapur to Imphal or vice versa costing Rs 1,811. The flights between Imphal and Dimapur route will operate thrice-weekly- on every Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Itinerary: Flight 9I 741 will depart from Guwahati at 8 am and arrive in Dimapur at 8:55 am, then the plane will depart from Dimapur at 9:20 am and arrive in Imphal at 10:10 am. While, Flight 9I 742 will depart from Imphal at 10:35 am, arrive in Dimapur at 11:25 am and the plane will depart from Dimapur at 11:50 am and arrive in Guwahati at 12:45 pm.

Need: Flight services from Dimapur to capital of Manipur, Imphal was a long pending demand from the region. This flight marks the inception of first-ever alternative option of connectivity to Imphal as until now, the Imphal is yet to be connected with India’s railway network. Therefore, till now, for a mere distance of 200 km, people had to travel for 7 hours by bus from Dimapur to reach Imphal, but now with establishment of the air route, people can now travel to Imphal in 50 minutes by air from Dimapur and can also access air connectivity to other parts of the country as well from Guwahati.

About UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)

UDAN-RCS, launched in April 2017, is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of Union Government, which aims to enable air operations on unserved routes, connecting regional areas, to promote balanced regional growth and to make flying affordable and widespread for masses. It also seeks boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India.

UDAN Scheme: 8 more air routes added

Civil Aviation Ministry  announced addition of 8 more air routes under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik), the regional air connectivity scheme. These air routes have become functional and started operations.

Key Highlights

Out of 8 routes added 2 are in northeast region.

New 8 Routes added are: Mysore-Goa, Goa-Mysore, Mysore-Hyderabad, Hyderabad-Mysore, Mysore-Kochi, Kochi-Mysore, Kolkata-Shillong, and Shillong-Kolkata. Flights connecting Kolkata and Shillong will be served by IndiGo while others will be operated by Alliance Air.

With the addition of 8 new routes the total UDAN routes that are now operational in country has increased to 194.

Up till now the Civil Aviation Ministry has awarded a total of 705 routes under the UDAN scheme

About UDAN

UDAN or Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik is a regional connectivity scheme (RCS). It was scheme on 21 October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable to masses.

Objective: It aims to make flying affordable besides connecting underserved and unserved airports across India.

Besides seeking boost to regional air connectivity it provides various incentives to airlines.

Need: India ranks as world’s 3rd-largest domestic aviation market. To tap this potential government has proposed to hike foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in domestic air carriers from existing 49%.

Way Ahead: The aviation sector in India is fast expanding its capacity expansion with addition of over 500 aircraft in coming years thereby also providing a significant opportunity for leasing and financing.