Air India opens booking for Shimla-New Delhi flight

DELHI: Air India said it has opened booking for its first flight under the Regional Connectivity Scheme to be operated on the Shimla-New Delhi route by its subsidiary Alliance Air.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the maiden flight under the government’s ambitious plan to provide connectivity to far and remote areas of the country on April 27, reports PTI.

Over 45 unserved and under-served airports would be connected under the scheme — UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)– that seeks to make flying more affordable.

On each flight, 50 per cent of the seats would have a cap of Rs 2,500 per seat/hour.

Under UDAN, the operators would be extended viability gap funding.

However, Alliance Air has also written to the Himachal Pradesh government seeking financial support to mitigate losses due to restriction on the payload or the number of passengers it can fly to and from the Himalayan state’s capital because of the short runway and temperature.

The airline estimates a total expenditure of Rs 4.06 lakh per return flight. However, the revenue it will be able to generate will be a mere Rs 2.64 lakh, including the viability gap funding from the Centre.

Therefore, the airline has requested the state government for the balance amount of Rs 1,41,960 per return flight.

Last year, Air India had received a rap from the Supreme Court for the lack of air connectivity to Shimla.


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