Udan scheme: Fares from Delhi-Shimla can go as high as Rs 19,000

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Shimla launching the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN, where he flagged off the flight from Shimla to Delhi
With the launch of a subsidised regional air connectivity scheme Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (Udan) on Thursday, you can now fly to Shimla from the national capital for as low as  Rs 2,000 as little over half of the seats in the Shimla-bound flight, operated by Air India subsidiary Alliance Air with a plane having 42-seater plane, are being sold at the discounted fare of Rs 2,036, inclusive of taxes.

However, due to restricted availability of seats on the Delhi-Shimla route being subsidised, the fares can shoot up to as high as Rs 19,000 for the remaining seats.

This is also because seating capacity of airlines under the Udan scheme will range from 19 to 78 and 50 per cent of the seats in every flight will have a fare cap of Rs 2,500 per seat per hour.

On the flight to Shimla, 24 seats are sold at the discounted ticket price and for the rest, fares would be market driven. In the return leg, all the 15 seats come under the Udan fare bucket.

Currently, for 11 seats, which are not subsidised, the tickets are priced between Rs 5,300 and Rs 19,080, as per the analysis of rates displayed on the Air India website.

The flight would be operated five days a week barring Monday and Tuesday.

Only in the highest fare bracket, some tickets are priced at little over Rs 19,000.

Here is a screenshot of ticket fares from an online booking site:

The operations under the scheme are intended to provide air connectivity to un-served and remote routes with airfare being capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour's journey of around 500 km, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

Under the Udan scheme, the operators would be extended viability gap funding (VGF). The amount is estimated to be around Rs 205 crore per annum for the operators chosen in the first round of bidding. 


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