Regional connectivity: Two new airlines in final stages of certification by DGCA
With the government putting a lot of focus on regional connectivity scheme (RCS) under its UDAN scheme, the two operators are also likely to fly on regional routes onlyUpdated: Sep 25, 2020, 10:50 IST
Two new air operators are in the final stages of certification by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and once that’s done, they may foray in the regional airlines space. With the government putting focus on regional connectivity scheme (RCS) under its Udey Desh ka Aam Naagarik (UDAN) scheme, the two operators are also likely to fly on regional routes only.
Top ministry sources told HT that these two airlines are Indian airlines and are expected to be able to commence their operations soon. A senior ministry official said, “Two scheduled commuter airlines, Big Charter and Aviation Connectivity, are in the final certification stage.”
The official also said, “These airlines are eyeing the RCS routes.”
An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said that except Bengaluru-based Star Air that commenced its operations in January last year, currently no airline in service has dedicated UDAN operations.
Director general of DGCA, Arun Kumar, confirmed that they have given flying permissions to two airlines. When asked if DGCA had received more applications for commencement of new airlines which was pending for approvals, Kumar said, “No application is pending with DGCA for starting new airlines.”
Industry sources confirmed to HT that, apart from other small aircraft, the airlines are to use ATR 72 aircraft for their flight operations.
With an aim to make air travel affordable and connect tier II and tier III cities, UDAN was announced in October 2016 and the first flight under this scheme took off in April 2017. Since then, 271 routes have commenced their UDAN flight operations. The aviation ministry has recently sanctioned Rs 108 crore under UDAN for upgrade of three Chhattisgarh airports. Early this week, it also identified 78 new routes and approved under the first phase of UDAN 4.0.