The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Thursday said it is likely to announce the third phase of the regional air connectivity scheme, Udan, next month, reports the Financial Express.
The routes up for auction in this phase will include popular tourist destinations such as Mahabodhi temple in Bihar, Ajanta and Ellora in Aurangabad and Hampi in Karnataka, among others. “We are planning to invite bids for Udan-3 in September and announce successful bidders by October,” minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha told reporters on Thursday.
The Ministry of Tourism had identified 12 tourist hotspots to connect under Udan. Under Udan, an airline can choose to serve the destinations on offer from anywhere depending on its traffic feasibility studies. In this scheme, fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour-long flight for 50% of seats. The remaining seats can be sold at market rates.
Major domestic airlines like IndiGo, SpiceJet and Air India had won several routes on offer under the scheme. However, routes on major airports such as Delhi, Mumbai and Pune are unlikely to be available as they are facing capacity constraints.
Going by the report, if this phase of UDAN 3 includes only tourist destinations then it is very unlikely that Belagavi will make it to the list. However, even if it is included and being very positive on it, flights to metros like Delhi, Mumbai will not be included due to capacity constraints.
Currently there is one daily flight to Bengaluru by Air India (4 days)and Alliance Air (3days).