Govt unveils draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits

UDAN Centre has unveiled a draft scheme for extending affordable air travel programme UDAN to international circuits, with state governments identifying the routes for operation.

The draft International Air Connectivity (IAC) scheme envisages increasing international ticketing to 20 crores by 2027.

Key highlights:

The scheme envisages increasing the international ticketing to 20 crores by 2027.

The scheme is to be made operational only for states, which demonstrate their commitment to implement and provide the requisite support for promoting operations under the scheme.

According to the draft, state governments will identify the routes to be connected, and airline operators will assess demand on the identified routes and submit proposals for providing connectivity.

Operations under the scheme will be permitted through fixed-wing aircraft only with more than 70 seats.

The scheme has proposed to set up an International Air Connectivity Fund (IACF) — a dedicated fund for providing subsidy support under the scheme. It will be created through the contributions of state governments.

The subsidy support shall be provided to selected airlines only for the passenger seats, which remain unsold at the time of IAC flight operation, from the total number of passenger seats for which subsidy has been requested by the selected airline as part of its proposal. The subsidy support will be extended only up to three years.

The Airport Authority of India will be the implementing agency of the scheme.

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