Under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, other passenger air carriers Air India, Air Asia, SpiceJet and GoAir are operating flights connecting the northeastern states and other major cities in India. To cover more of the North East, budget airline IndiGo launches direct flights on the Agartala-Aizawl-Guwahati route under the UDAN scheme with fares beginning at Rs 1,620.
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga flagged-off the 78-seater Agartala bound IndiGo flight at Aizawl. According to airline sources, Indigo will introduce airbus-320 on the Aizawl-Delhi route in the near future. As of now, Air India and Go Air are operating their flights from Aizawl's Lengpui airport connecting Kolkata and Guwahati.
Boosting Northeast airline connectivity under UDAN
Currently, IndiGo operates flights to and from five Northeastern states namely Assam (Guwahati), Nagaland (Dimapur), Manipur (Imphal), Tripura (Agartala), and Meghalaya (Shillong). The new routes will be serviced by ATR aircraft, IndiGo said earlier.
Tripura Transport and Tourism Minister Pranajit Singh Roy in presence of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) Regional Executive Director (NER) and other dignitaries flagged off the IndiGo flight in Agartala.
On the occasion, Pranajit Singh Roy said that now onwards daily 19 flights of various airliners including Air India would be operated from the Agartala's Maharaja Bir Bikram airport connecting Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati, Aizawl and other cities in India.
Jindal added that there are plans to operate flights on the Agartala-Shillong route as well, with air connectivities being upgraded under the UDAN scheme.
Towards the future with UDAN
"UDAN is under the regional connectivity scheme that aims at regional airport development with the objective of 'let the common citizens of the country fly' by making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development," the AAI Regional Executive Director (NER) said.
Plans are underway to start daily flights on six new routes to and from Prayagraj-Gorakhpur, Aizawl-Agartala and Varanasi- Bhubaneswar under the Centre's UDAN scheme which provides financial incentives in terms of concessions from the Centre, state governments and airport operators. This is extended to airlines to encourage operations from unserved and underserved airports and to keep airfares affordable.
Under the scheme, the government provides subsidy to airlines, who have to cap airfares for 50% of the total seats at Rs 2,500 per hour of flight. IndiGo said that Mizoram would be the sixth among the eight north-eastern sister states to be connected with its large domestic and international network.