India regional connectivity gets wings

The Government today kickstarted its Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) by awarding 128 regional routes to five airlines -Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha and Air Deccan. As a result, there will soon be Salem-Chennai, Kadapa-Chennai, Nanded-Hyderabad and Puducherry-Salem flights on which at least half the passengers will be able to fly at fares of under ?2,500. Under the RCS, the Government has proposed at least half the seats on every flight be available under a fare cap of ?2,500 per seat per hour of flying. An un-served airport is one to which there is no daily service, while an under-served airport is one which has not seen a flight for two consecutive flight schedules. Globally, airlines follow two schedules ? a winter schedule from the last Sunday of October to the last Saturday of March of the following year and a summer schedule that runs from the last Sunday of March till the last Saturday of October. Flights under the RCS scheme could take off as early as April with both Alliance Air and Air Deccan indicating that they plan to launch services between Shimla and Delhi in April. Air Deccan plans to operate Durgapur-Kolkata and Rourkela-Kolkata flights from July this year and launch flights linking Kullu to Delhi and Pant Nagar to Dehra Dun in August. Air Odisha plans to link Bhavnagar to Ahmedabad and Diu to Ahmedabad in August, followed by flights between Kadapa and Bengaluru, Kadapa and Chennai, Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, and Puducherry and Chennai among others. SpiceJet?s plans include Puducherry-Hyderabad, Porbandar-Mumbai, Adampur-Delhi and Kandla-Mumbai services from August. Courtesy: The Hindu Business Line


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