Assam along with Northeast is all set to get major international air connectivity! The Narendra Modi government has invited bids on routes connecting Guwahati with Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Nepal under the UDAN scheme. This is the second round of bids from airlines to conduct commercial flight operations on Guwahati-Yangon, Guwahati-Hanoi, Guwahati-Kuala Lumpur, and Guwahati-Kathmandu routes.
The central government has issued a ‘notice inviting proposal’. On behalf of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Assam government, Airports Authority of India (AAI) has invited "interested bidders for submission of e-proposals for the International Air Connectivity (IAC) routes" between Guwahati and the aforementioned four cities. The first round of bidding was conducted by AAI in November 2018 under the UDAN international scheme for the operation of international routes connecting Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport (GAU) in Guwahati to Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dhaka, and Yangon. However, only two out of those routes- Guwahati-Bangkok and Guwahati-Dhaka- attracted bids. Commercial flight operations have already commenced on Guwahati-Singapore route.
Assam government was ready to provide a maximum subsidy of Rs 2,745 per passenger and Rs 7,445 per passenger on Guwahati-Kathmandu and Guwahati-Kuala Lumpur routes to the selected airline operator respectively, according to an AAI document was quoted by PTI. Assam government was also ready to provide a subsidy of up to Rs 4,831 per passenger and Rs 4,545 per passenger on Guwahati-Yangon and Guwahati-Hanoi routes respectively, the report stated.
Under the UDAN scheme, the state government provides subsidy for the difference between the cost of airline operations on a route and the expected revenues from that route.
Earlier in July, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed Parliament that out of a total 705 routes under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN scheme, 174 routes have become operational. The RCS-UDAN is Modi government’s flagship scheme and was launched on October 21, 2016. A total of three versions of RCS-UDAN scheme has been launched.
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