In a boost to low cost air travel in Maharashtra, five routes under the Center's UDAN scheme, which were discontinued some time back, will resume on February 13.
According to a government official, Mumbai-Nashik, Mumbai-Jalgaon, Mumbai-Kolhapur, Mumbai-Solapur, and Nashik-Pune air services will commence again, adding that these routes have been allotted to two airline companies, SpiceJet and TruJet (Turbo Mega).
After UDAN started, these routes were allotted to Air Deccan
"After the 'Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik' (UDAN) scheme started, these routes were allotted to Air Deccan airline company.
"However, several complaints were received about the company violating the norms.
Despite issuing several notices, it could not normalize the services. Hence, its services were scrapped and it was decided to appoint new airline companies on these routes," the official said.
28 routes proposed to start in the state under UDAN
In addition to this, two new routes, Nashik-Prayagraj and Nashik-Hindon, are also expected to start soon, the official further said.
Under the 'Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik' (UDAN) scheme, nine airports in the state - Nashik, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Solapur, Nanded, Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Amravati and Gondia were selected.
It has been proposed to start 28 routes in the state under the scheme.
Currently six routes are operational under the scheme
Currently, Nashik-Delhi, Nanded-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Nanded, Kolhapur-Hyderabad, Kolhapur-Bengaluru and Kolhapur-Hubli routes are operational under the scheme, the official said. UDAN , which commenced in April 2017, is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) aimed at making air travel affordable.
No other airline is allowed to operate that particular route
Under the scheme, 50% seats in aeroplanes are offered at concessional rates to passengers.
In case of these seats remaining vacant, the Center and the respective state offer subsidy in the form of Value Gap Funding (VGF) to the airline company to compensate the loss.
As part of this scheme, no other airline is allowed to operate that particular route.
VGF in tickets is shared by Centre (80%), state (20%)
This system protects the business interest of the operating company. "The VGF in tickets is shared by the Centre (80%) and the state (20%). So far, the Maharashtra government has paid a VGF of Rs. 5 crore to airline firms," the official informed.