UDAN-RCS: Belgaum-Nashik Gets 1st Direct Route With Star Air Flights

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File photo of passengers boarding an Embraer Jet aircraft of Star Air. Source: Star Air.

The first direct flight operations between Nashik in Maharashtra and Belgaum in Karnataka started today under the RCS-UDAN  or Regional Connectivity Scheme — Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik of the government of India.

Belgaum 3rd Busiest in Karnataka

Operationalizing of this route expands the aerial connectivity of Belgaum to the 10 destinations across India.

The Belgaum airport has emerged as the third busiest airport in terms of traffic in the state, after Bengaluru and Mangaluru. Officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) were present at the launch of the flight operations. Till date, 311 routes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.

Several requests were received to start Belgaum-Nashik route considering the non-availability of any direct flight/train operations between these cities, till date. People were forced to travel by road and suffer a long journey of more than 10 hours.

Nashik is a big tourist and business destination. Being one of the four pilgrimage sites that organises Kumbh Mela, and the gateway city for the Shirdi Sai Temple and Trimbakeshwar Temple, the city attracts lakhs of tourists every year.

Additionally, due to the presence of majority of India’s vineyards and wineries in the city, Nashik is also known as the Grape and Wine capital of India and attracts business community. Further, many people use this route to visit Kolhapur and Goa for tourism and business purposes. Now, these people can travel at ease by opting for a flight of just 60 minutes.

Star Air to Fly UDAN Route

Star Air was awarded the Belgaum-Nashik route during the UDAN 3 bidding process. The airlines are being provided Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable and accessible for the common people.

The airline will be operating thrice-weekly flights on the route and will deploy its 50-seater Embraer ERJ-145 aircraft. The route marks the commencement of the 15th UDAN route by the airline.

The flight schedule is mentioned below:

Origin Destination Departure Arrival Frequency
Belgaum Nashik 16:40 17:40 Mon, Fri, Sun
Nashik Belgaum 18:15 19:15 Mon, Fri, Sun

 

From January 11, Star Air had launched flights between Kalaburagi in Karnataka and Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh under the UDAN scheme, the Civil Aviation Ministry said.

Inaugurated under the UDAN scheme, Kalaburagi airport recently completed a successful 1 year of service. The airport has become the fastest growing airport in the country. More than 1000 flights have ferried more than 43,000 people from the airport.

To celebrate the hard work, commitment, and perseverance of the involved professionals, the officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India were present at the route launch.

MoCA officials said they had received numerous requests for the commencement of the flight operations on the route including an appeal by the Hyderabad Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI) for the necessity of the direct flight operations from Kalaburagi to Tirupati.

Also known as the ‘Spiritual Capital of Andra Pradesh’, Tirupati is home to the most famous and auspicious Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple popularly called ‘Tirupati Balaji Temple’ which has its name in the most-visited shrine across the globe.

The temple attracts 50,000 to 100,000 devotees every day. Apart from the Tirupati Balaji temple, the place is also famous for other historical temples, Sri Venkateshwara National Park, Deer Park, Tirupati, and Talakona Waterfalls, Tirupati.

The century old temples in Tirupati are one of the first choices of the pilgrims of the country. Moreover, the Tirumala Hills in Tirupati is the second oldest rock mountain hills in the world.

The airline, Star Air was awarded the Kalaburagi – Tirupati route under the RCS-UDAN-3 bidding process last year. The airline will be operating three weekly flights on the route and will deploy its 50-seater Embraer-145 luxury aircraft. With the flag-off, there are now 25 routes under the ambit of RCS-UDAN for Star Air.

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Aditya Anand
Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.