Air Odisha, Air Deccan To Start Operations From December

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New Delhi, Nov 3: Air Odisha and Air Deccan are likely to start their operations under the government's Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) from December 15, Aviation Secretary RN Choubey said on Thursday.

The two carriers between them have 84 of the total 128 routes that were awarded under the RCS in March but they missed the six-month deadline, which ended in September, to start operations.

'They (Air Odisha and Air Deccan) have said that from December 15 many of their flights will start operating,' Choubey told reporters at the Second Aero Expo here.

The two carriers are likely to start their operations with a combined fleet of four aircraft, the aviation secretary added.

They will get 10 slots at the Delhi Airport for their RCS flights. Talks are also underway for granting them slots at the Mumbai airport, according to sources.

The two operators would be flying 19-seater Beachcraft B-1900D aircraft.

The RCS, also known as UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik), seeks to make flying more affordable for the masses with fares capped at Rs 2,500 per hour of flight. It also aims at improving air connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities.

The airlines that win rights to operate RCS flights are required to offer half of their seating capacity at discounted rates in return for which they get government subsidy.

The first round of bidding for RCS routes took place in March, when five carriers were awarded 128 routes. The second round of bidding began in August and the winners are likely to be announced by mid-December.

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