Air travel has up until now always been considered a luxury, something that only rich people or those from the upper middle class could afford.
Even after the launch of various so-called ‘budget’ airlines, their ticket prices were still just too steep to allow those hard on money to ever travel by air.
However, the UDAN initiative by the Indian govt. which basically means ‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik‘, is set to change that and allow everyone a chance to travel in an aeroplane.
With this program, the govt. plans to connect the many unserved and under-served airports that are littered throughout the country. Under-served and unserved airports like their name, mean that either they don’t get more than one or two flight a day or those which are practically useless with no operations going on.
This all is happening under the RCS which is the Regional Connectivity Scheme and in it, 5 airlines will now operate on 128 routes and in turn connecting 70 airports. According to reports, the first flight of UDAN is expected to take off sometime next month.
Now, if you are confused about the actual information of this initiative and what all it includes, here are a couple of things you should know about UDAN:
Small States Will Now Get Better Connectivity
Till now, mostly metro cities had good and operating airports, with at most one or two small towns having it due to tourism reasons.
But now, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai and other big cities will be connected to 70 other small towns including but not limited to Agra, Gwalior, Diu, Shimla, Pathankot, Bathinda, Kanpur, Bilaspur, Ludhiana, Jamshedpur and even Kadapa.
States and union territories like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry and more will see better connectivity with this program.
How Much Is The Ticket?
As of now, the ticket price is just Rs. 2,500 per seat for an hour or about 500 km of air travel. The initiative will have 50% of the seats in each UDAN flight sold at the above price.
When Will It Start?
According to reports, it is alleged that the first flight of UDAN will be from Delhi to Bathinda under Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air.
Probably in the next 2 or so weeks, the first flight will take off with the next being to Shimla.
What Airlines Will Be Operating?
So basically only 5 airlines will be operating these 128 routes which include SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air India’s subsidiary which is Airline Allied Services, Air Odisha and Air Deccan.
The aeroplanes being operated will be small ones with about 19 to 78 seats in them.
Why This Matters To You?
Alright, so we have basically covered all the important information that is available on this initiative, but one thing remaining is why exactly should you be concerned about this in the first place.
For one, now we can travel to more regional areas of our country through a plane and that too without emptying our pockets.
This initiative will bring about a lot of traffic to hard to reach places and no more suffering through days travelling by train and what not.
College students and middle-class families can especially take joy in this program as you can now travel to nearby regions for a small vacation or even go back home for the holidays without having to worry about the high airfare.
However, it is still too soon to say anything about it as not even the first flight has happened yet. Let us see whether UDAN really brings about some difference or not.
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