India has till date operationalised 395 air routes under the Regional Connectivity Scheme 'Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik' or RCS-Udan. Under the scheme, which was launched in 2016, airlines are provided with a 'Viability Gap Funding' to keep fares affordable and accessible.
"Till date, 395 routes and 63 airports, including six heliports and two water aerodromes, have been operationalised under the UDAN scheme," the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Saturday.
The statement came a day after domestic flight operations at the newly-inaugurated Kushinagar Airport in Uttar Pradesh commenced with the first flight operating between Delhi and Kushinagar under RCS-UDAN.
"The commencement of the flight operations on this route is in line with the commitment and perseverance of the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to enable the country with better air connectivity under the UDAN scheme," the statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the Kushinagar International Airport on October 20, 2021. Kushinagar is an international Buddhist pilgrimage centre.
"The operationalisation of the Kushinagar airport will connect this region directly to national and global visitors and pilgrims," the statement said.
The Airports Authority of India has developed the Kushinagar Airport with a new terminal building at an estimated cost of Rs 260 crore in association with the Government of Uttar Pradesh.
The new terminal is equipped to handle 300 passengers during peak hours. SpiceJet was awarded the Kushinagar-Delhi route under the RCS-UDAN 4.0.
(With inputs from IANS)