Under the new scheme, airfare caps have been reduced by as much as 25% to make flying in helicopters more affordable for passengers, it said.
With Udan 5.1, the ministry has also substantially increased Viability Gap Funding (VGF) caps for the operators both single and twin-engine helicopters to enhance financial viability for operating the awarded routes.
“The latest round of UDAN scheme is a testament to two emerging phenomenon in Indian civil aviation – one, a deeper democratisation of air travel with a focus on last-mile connectivity. Second, a growing appetite for helicopters in aiding tourism. Greater helicopter penetration through such efforts will help boost tourism, hospitality, and thus, our local economies. UDAN 5.1 heralds a new dawn not just for civil aviation, but also for India’s remote & unserved regions.” said Jyotiraditya M.scindia.
Till date 46 helicopter routes have been operationalised under previous rounds of the scheme, benefitting a number of hilly and North East states and this round is targeting coverage of a much larger number of routes, the release further said.
Under the UDAN scheme passengers have received the benefit of air connectivity, airlines have received concessions for operating regional routes, and unserved regions have received the direct and indirect benefits of air connectivity for their economic development. The present version of the scheme will be another step towards the Prime Minister’s vision of allowing the common man to travel by air at affordable fares to remote destinations of the country.
Source :Economic times, 25/5/23