Air Deccan to fly Udan flights in the northeast from 15 December

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Shillong: Air Deccan is all set to start flight operations under the regional connectivity scheme, also known as Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik), from 15 December this year, Shillong airport officials said Sunday.

Air Deccan will use Shillong as a hub and Udan flights from there will connect to other destinations in the northeast such as Agartala, Aizawl and Imphal, according to a top official of the Shillong airport. The airline will also operate flights between Kolkata and Agartala.

Under the government’s Udan regional connectivity scheme, air fares are capped at Rs2,500 per person for an hour’s flight to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in which the government will provide subsidy for flying with such low fares.

“Air Deccan authorities have given the schedule saying that they would start operating from 15 December this year,” said M.K. Nayak, the director of Shillong airport. Air Deccan will use an 18-20 seater aircraft for the Udan flights, he added.

The government recently asked Air Deccan to start operations from the region by making Shillong as a hub after the airline failed to meet the deadline for launching flights on the routes it had bagged under the Udan scheme. At present, Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India, connects Shillong to Kolkata.

According to Nayak, since Shillong airport is a hub for regional connectivity, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has provided facilities for refuelling aircraft. In this regard, Oil India Ltd has also completed setting up the refuelling facility within the vicinity of the airport and another oil company is about to complete the refuelling facilities, he said. Nayak also said that a growth in the tourism sector is also expected once Air Deccan starts operating flights. The northeastern region will immensely benefit, he said.

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