Understanding the Indian Government’s Udaan Yojna

The Udaan scheme is a Government of India scheme in tandem with the civil aviation industry. The idea of the scheme is to make cheap airfares available and encourage people to travel by air in smaller cities. Eleven states have signed the MOU under this scheme. This scheme will help connect more than 50 cities by air and encourage the common man to travel by flight. The maximum airfare will be pegged at Rs. 2500 for a flight duration of one hour. 50% of the seats in the aircraft will be booked for the Udaan scheme which will encourage domestic travel. It has been reported that domestic travel has increased by 23.4% in India by the end of 2016. The scheme will start from 1st January of 2017 and anyone can avail it without any special registration.

Over 50 airports in smaller cities will be renovated and modernised under this scheme. The civil aviation ministry expects to mop up Rs. 500 crores by increasing airfares on major routes by as much as Rs. 8,500 to raise the said amount. The money collected as a levy will be used to fuel domestic air travel and interconnect small cities so the Aam Aadmi can enjoy the benefits of affordable travel.

The levy structure is Rs. 7,500 per flight up to 1000 km, Rs. 8,000 for up to 1500 km and Rs. 8,500 for up to 1500 km. In addition, 20% of the Rs. 500 crore figure will come from the state government. The Limit for the RCS Airfare will hover between Rs. 1,420 to Rs. 3,500 for fixed winged aircraft. A half an hour ride in a helicopter will cost Rs. 2,500 and for over one-hour duration, the cap will be Rs. 5,000.

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What does it mean for the Travel Junkie?

As a traveller, it is a boon for me. Major destinations have been explored to the hilt and are generally heavy on the business travellers. But as a travel blogger, I want to explore the real India which comprises of smaller cities and connected to them are villages and far-flung travel destinations. The Udaan scheme makes it faster, cheaper and easier for me to go to these places. Once there, I can explore other unique travel destinations nearby. As a blogger, I will reach my destination faster and cheaper than before (if I don’t wish to use a train that is). It is the business traveller who will pay the levy to compensate for my sightseeing experience and that is great. So, Udaan is a very beneficial scheme for a travel blogger.

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