UDAN yet to take off as Air Deccan stops Umroi flight

SHILLONG: The Centre’s much hyped UDAN scheme has remained a non-starter till date after Air Deccan, which was selected under the regional connectivity scheme, failed to operate for unknown reasons.
Air Deccan had conducted a trial run from the Umroi airport on April 25 this year when an 18-seater aircraft landed on the tarmac marking the start of the low-cost carrier’s operations to and from the facility at Umroi. The services stopped on May 10 due to unknown reasons.
An official from Air Deccan told The Shillong Times that the services from Shillong were there from May 1 to 10.
When asked about the reason for stopping it, the Air Deccan official said the services may resume from Shillong after September 10 but they are not sure about it.
When the matter was brought to the knowledge of Transport Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar on Thursday, he said it has not been discussed in the department and “I will have to find out and I will have to see the agreement as to why they have stopped the services”.
Under the UDAN scheme, Air Deccan was selected to operate from Shillong and the air fares are capped at Rs 2,500 per person for an hour’s flight to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in which the government will provide subsidy for flying with such low fares.
An official of the Airport Authority of India said the Umroi airport provided all the facilities, including check-in counters and refuelling system for Air Deccan to function from here.
The airline was scheduled to operate on the Kolkata-Agartala-Shillong-Dimapur and Dimapur-Shillong-Agartala-Kolkata sectors six days a week.
It may be mentioned that the Centre had also asked Air Deccan to start operations from the region by making Shillong as a hub.

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