India has till date operationalised 361 air routes under the regional connectivity scheme ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik’ or RCS-Udan.
The scheme was launched in 2016. Under it, airlines are provided with a ‘Viability Gap Funding’ to keep fares affordable and accessible.
“Till date, 361 routes and 59 airports (including 5 heliports and 2 water aerodromes) have been operationalised under the Udan scheme,” the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The scheme is envisaged to establish strong aerial connectivity in all States and UTs of the country which hitherto were not connected, laying the foundation of a new regional segment in India’s aviation market.”
According to the ministry, on Tuesday, the first direct flight operations between Imphal (Manipur) and Shillong (Meghalaya) was flagged off under the RCS-UDAN.
“The operationalisation of this route fulfills the objectives of the Government of India to establish strong aerial connectivity in priority areas of NorthEast India.”
“Shillong is the second city to be connected with Imphal under the UDAN scheme. The airline M/s IndiGo was awarded the Imphal-Shillong route during the UDAN 4 bidding process.”
In addition, the statement said the airline will be operating four flights in a week and will deploy its 78-seater ATR 72 aircraft.
Currently, 66 UDAN routes are operational by IndiGo.