The Ministry of Civil Aviation has assured Manipur that the Imphal-Mandalay flight route are going to be included in the International UDAN scheme, with the bidding method for selection of airlines to be completed within 2 months, said the state government on Monday.
A statement by the state’s data and public relation (IPR) department said the Manipur government had been pursuing the introduction of flight operations between Imphal and Mandalay for quite some time, however instead of a regular flight service, the Aviation ministry gave permission for chartered flights, that too for a restricted period of time.
Government sources said the chartered Mandalay-Imphal-Mandalay flight service by AIR KBZ Ltd, which was launched on Nov 23, is to run only until December 7.
The flight service is operated with the state bearing a subsidy amount of Rs 12,956 out of Rs 14,000, per round trip, for every unsold seat up to a maximum of 35 seats.
Considering the unsustainability of this financing model, the IPR statement said the state was exploring various choices to have direct regular flights between Imphal and Mandalay at economical rates, whereas imposing the least cost on the state treasury.
Under the UDAN scheme, airlines are required to bid on the number of passenger seats per flight that they’ll need a subsidy. unlike the chartered flights, where the rates of subsidy support are fixed arbitrarily and on a lumpsum basis, the support under International UDAN will be more economical, as rates are based on competitive bidding.
“This will immensely benefit passengers in terms of low ticket value, predictable schedules of flights as they’ll be full-fledged regular flights, and uninterrupted period of flight service”, the IPR statement said.
News Source : Indian Express
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