Only 4 UDAN routes in northeast operational
Two years since the launch of the ambitious low-cost flying scheme, aerial connectivity continues to elude the northeastern region. While as many as 20 bi-directional routes were awarded to various airlines during this period, only four are currently operational.
The routes that have been connected are Guwahati-Pakyong-Guwahati (SpiceJet), Jorhat-Kolkata-Jorhat (IndiGo), Lilabari-Kolkata-Lilabari (SpiceJet) and PakyongDelhi-Pakyong (SpiceJet).
When the scheme was launched in March 2017, a total of five routes were identified from the northeast for the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), also known as Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN). Under the scheme, the government provides a subsidy to airlines, who have to cap airfares for 50% of the total seats at ₹2,500 per hour of flight.
These routes, connecting Shillong with five other destinations in Meghalaya, were bagged by Air Deccan.
All of them now stand withdrawn because of the failure on the part of the airline to commence operations on some routes, and due to erratic services on others.