SpiceJet Ltd will introduce its first flight under the government’s Udan regional connectivity scheme to Porbandar and Kandla in Gujarat next month, joining Air India and TruJet in starting such flights.
The two routes—Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai, Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai—will be operational with a 78-seater Bombardier Q400 regional jet from 10 July, SpiceJet said in a note on Monday.
Under the Udan scheme, the airline will be operating the new flights on the Mumbai-Porbandar route with Rs2,250 (all inclusive) fares while the fare on the Mumbai- Kandla and Kandla-Mumbai routes would be Rs2,500 (all inclusive) for Udan seats.
“We will connect many more small towns and cities in times to come,” SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said.
The government had in March awarded 128 regional routes to five airlines—Alliance Air, SpiceJet, Turbo Megha, Air Odisha and Air Deccan—for launching flights under Udan (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme, which aims to boost air connectivity to the hinterland.
The name of the scheme loosely translates as ‘let the common man fly’.
As many as 70 airports, including 31 unserved and 12 under-served ones, would be connected through Udan flights. Under the scheme, on each flight, 50% of the seats would have a fare cap of Rs2,500 per seat/hour.
SpiceJet said it is the only airline which hasn't sought a subsidy under the scheme. Under Udan, flight operators are eligible for viability gap funding.
SpiceJet is the country’s largest regional airline, operating a fleet of 19 Bombardier Q400 planes, which can seat 78 passengers. Besides, it has 33 Boeing 737s as well in its fleet.