Giving boost to tourism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched UDAN – the regional connectivity scheme for civil aviation, from Shimla Airport. Under this scheme, flights have begun from Shimla, Nanded and Kadapa Airports.
The resumption of regular flights after five years is expected to attract high-end tourists, especially foreign visitors and business travellers, to Shimla and nearby hill stations.
“Airfare for a 1 hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for 30 minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500,” said the PM in an official statement.
Kingfisher Airlines was the last commercial airline to have operated regular flights between Delhi and Shimla till it was grounded on September 6, 2012.
The Alliance Air flight will operate five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday. It will depart from Delhi at 6.10 am and arrive in Shimla at 7.25 am. The same day, it will depart from Shimla at 7.45 am and return to Delhi at 8.45 am.
“The lives of the middle class are being transformed and their aspirations are increasing. Given the right chance they can do wonders. UDAN Scheme is going to help tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister addressed the gathering at Shimla Airport, and also at Nanded and Kadapa via video link.
The Prime Minister also unveiled an e-plaque to mark the laying of Foundation Stone of a Hydro Engineering College at Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.
Mentioning the scheme name – UDAN – Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik – he said that aviation was once considered the domain of a select few, but that has changed now. He said the new civil aviation policy marks an opportunity to cater to the aspirations of the people of India.
He said Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities are becoming growth engines, and enhanced aviation connectivity between them will be beneficial. He said the UDAN scheme will help the tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh.