Udan Foreign Flights From Bhubaneswar Might Not Take Off Due To Subsidy Issues

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Plans to start overseas flights from Bhubaneswar under the UDAN International scheme might not take off owing to subsidy related issues. Under the central scheme, the state government needs to extend a 100 per cent subsidy (viability gap funding) to the airlines that agree to operate flights to key destinations in India’s neighbourhood.

According to the reports, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Civil Aviation Minister requested Chief Ministers of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Odisha to instruct officers concerned to initiate action on matters such as deposition of funds with the Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust and viability gap funding support for international UDAN flight operations. The Ministry has decided to lunch flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Kulala Lumpur, Colombo, Singapore and Kathmandu from Bhubaneswar.

A senior official of the Commerce and Transport Department argued that if the state government is to provide a 100 per cent subsidy then it should have a say in the bidding process. The official further said that the state government will provide the subsidy for the UDAN International scheme if the Ministry implements the existing centre-state subsidy share ratio for the RCS UDAN Scheme (80:20).

It is believed that such direct air connectivity would promote the development of the city and the state by wooing tourists and businessmen to fly via smaller towns, instead of the metros. The scheme seeks to make use of the open skies policy that India has with other Asian countries that allow direct and unlimited flights to and from these nations to 18 Indian destinations.

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