- Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off three flights on Thursday.
- UDAN is short for 'Ude desh ka aam naagrik.'
"My dream was to see a person who wears a hawai chappal (slipper) to fly on the hawai jahaz (aeroplane)," he added as he flagged off the flights at Jubbarhatti, an airport on the outskirts of Shimla.
UDAN, which is short for "Ude desh ka aam naagrik", meaning 'the common man flies' will add a chip on the Modi-led BJP government as it is hailed as the centerpiece to India's first national aviation policy launched in June last year.
The impetus to connect small towns with big cities is what gives the initiative a resonance with the common man. And here is why we think, it will prove to be a success:
Air travel becomes cheaper than road:
With both Centre and State doing their bit, the air travel will now become much cheaper. Take for example, the Delhi-Shimla route. A traveller wanting to reach Shimla by road shells out anywhere between Rs 8-10 per km as taxi fare and takes around nine hours. But on the one-hour flight, the average cost per km works out to less than Rs 10 per km.
Save time and money:
As per the rules, the air carriers, who have opted for the UDAN scheme will have to offer at least 24 seats at discounted rate of Rs 2,036. So all those who book the tikets in advance will not only save time but also money.
Loss-making carriers like Air-India to benefit:
Under the new UDAN scheme, the state government and the centre are committed to providing subsidy as per a pre-decided formula which will perhaps help Air India not book interminable losses on this sector.
Benefit loss-making carriers:
The UDAN initiative will connect a total of 56 airports mainly located in the tier 2 cities. It will also benefit other carriers. The Air India has committed to operating on 15 routes, Spice Jet has got 11, Turbo 18, Air Deccan 34 and Air Odisha has got 50 routes.
Increase employment and investment:
The UDAN is also likely to a give a major fillip to tourism and employment generation in the hinterland. Through the introduction of helicopters and small aircraft, it is also likely to significantly reduce travel timings in remote and hilly regions, as well as islands and other areas of the country.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:35 PM IST