Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday flagged off the first Rs 2,500-an-hour flight from Shimla as part of the UDAN scheme that makes air travel accessible to lower middle class families.
The first regional flight under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme was flagged off between Shimla and Delhi from Jubbarhatti, the tabletop airport located 2,196 metres above sea level.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister My dream was to see a person who wears a ‘hawai chappal’ fly on the ‘hawai jahaz’ or plane.
Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air, which will operate the Delhi-Shimla flight, has put the fare at Rs 2,036. The Prime Minister foresees tier-II and tier-III cities as "growth engines" with the country's aviation sector filled with opportunities.
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister If aviation connectivity in tier-II and tier-III cities is enhanced in these places, it will be beneficial.
Modi simultaneously flagged off the inaugural UDAN flights on the Kadapa-Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad routes through video conferencing. The Shimla airport had been shut for scheduled flights since 6 September 2012, affecting tourists and business travellers.
The seating capacity of the airlines under the UDAN scheme will range from 19 to 78. Fifty percent of the seats in every flight will have a fare cap of Rs 2,500 per hour.
The airline companies chosen are Airline Allied Services (Alliance Air), SpiceJet, Turbo Megha Airways, Air Deccan and Air Odisha.
(With inputs from IANS.)
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim