Air Odisha may launch flights under UDAN scheme from November end

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MUMBAI: The Bhubaneswar-based Air Odisha is likely to launch services under the UDAN scheme from next month-end even as it has agreed to reduce the proposed services to four as against six scheduled from New Delhi earlier.

The air operator is expected to introduce its flight services from Ahmedabad to Bhavanagar, Jamnagar, Diu and Mundra in the first phase, a source close to the development said.

Air Odisha, which currently has a non-scheduled operator permit, had bagged 50 routes to operate under the central-government’s subsidised Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme in March this year.

However, it is awaiting the Scheduled Commuter Operator (SCO) permit from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which will qualify it to launch regional services.

“We are ready to launch services from November end. To begin with, we will launch flights from Ahmedabad to Bhavnagr, Jamnagar, Diu and Mundra. However, we have not yet obtained the SCO permit, which is still being processed by the DGCA,” the source told .

In the second phase, Air Odisha plans to roll out services from Delhi and then from Chenani in the subsequent month, the source said.

As per the schedule, the air operator will commence services from New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Chenani to various underserved and unserved airports across Odisha, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry.

Unserved airports are the ones, where there is no flight, whereas the underserved airports have been categorised as the ones, which have three or less flights per week.

According to the source, Air Odisha may now ask for four slots — two departures and two arrivals — from the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) at the Delhi airport instead of six demanded earlier.

“We have also decided to drop Meethapur airport in Gujarat from our schedule for the time being as the aerodrome is still not ready for operations,” the source added.

Air Odisha had earlier said that as many as eight of the 26 airports, from where it had to launch regional flights were not ready for operations as some work was still going on at those aerodromes.

Air Odisha is one of the five air operators, who won bids for flying on 128 routes connecting 70 airports under UDAN) scheme, which seeks to provide air connectivity to the unserved airports as well as enhance flight operations to under served airports.

Under the scheme, the operators were given six months time to commence operations.

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