The first flight operations from Belgaum (Karnataka) to Surat (Gujarat) to Kishangarh (Ajmer, Rajasthan) under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) of the Government of India has been launched by Star Air.
Star Air Connects Under UDAN
The officials of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) were present at the inauguration. The launch of the Star Air flight operations on the Surat-Kishangarh-Belgaum route aligns with the government’s objective to provide air connectivity with metros to the Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities of the country under UDAN.
More than 300 routes have been operationalised under the UDAN scheme, and the flag off marks the inauguration of the 303rd route under the ambit of the scheme.
In its constant endeavor to link the unconnected regions, Star Air was awarded the Belgaum-Surat-Kishangarh route during the UDAN 3 bidding process last year. The airlines are being provided Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable and accessible for the common people.
Thrice-a-Week By Star Air
Star Air will be operating thrice-weekly flights on the route and will deploy its 50-seater Embraer-145 aircraft. The route marks the commencement of the 20th UDAN route by the airline.
The aerial connectivity on this route had been one of the most awaited demands of natives. People frequently visit the famous Nine Planets temple, Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Pushkar Lake, Phool Mahal Palace, Roopangarh Fort, etc in Kishangarh.
Furthermore, the city is also known as the Marble City of India and is a big market of red chilies. Until now there was no direct mode of transport available from Belgaum to Kishangarh.
The travellers were compelled to take a train till Agra, and further, they had to opt for a bus to reach Kishangarh. Similarly, by road, the completion of the entire journey took more than 25 hours. Now, people can travel comfortably and fly at ease by opting for a flight of 3.10 hours.
Apart from saving time, money, and energy of the people who travel frequently between Belgaum and Kishangarh, the launch of the regular flight operations on the route will further provide a catalyst to trade and tourism of the region.
Likewise, the natives of the Silk City and Diamond City, Surat had to suffer long train and road journeys to reach the Marble City. The completion of the entire journey took more than 50 hours, Now, natives reach Kishangarh by opting for a flight of just 80 minutes.
Moneycontrol.com through an analysis reported that only 207 routes are currently operational. UDAN 3.0 had seen 235 routes being won across airlines, while 325 routes were awarded under UDAN 2.0. These numbers show the dismal performance of the scheme, which is the pet project of the prime minister.