By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 26, 2018: Not a single airstrip from Odisha found a place in the Airports Authority of India (AAI)’s second round of bidding under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), also known as UDAN.

In UDAN 2, AAI on Thursday awarded 90 proposals to 15 airlines and chopper operators for 325 routes, out of which 129 routes are new in the states include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands. For the first time the chopper services were included under UDAN scheme. Pawan Hans won routes in the helicopter proposal category. Total 19 states will be benefitted in UDAN 2. Among the states, 15 airports and helipads in Uttarakhand came under the scheme.

The maximum numbers of routes were bagged by the Interglobe Aviation – the parent company of IndiGo Airlines – and SpiceJet. The airline company Jet Airways also won the bid for few routes. The airline has 20 routes — Kannur-Bangalore; Kannur-Trivandrum; Cochin-Hubli-Goa; Bangalore-Allahabad-Pune; Nagpur-Bhubaneswar-Allahabad; Mumbai-Allahabad; Hindon-Allahabad-Dehradun; Hindon-Gorakhpur-Allahabad and Hindon-Jaisalamer-Udaipur — in the second round of bidding under the scheme.

Odisha, which has been deprived of airstrip under Udan, got only one flight under the scheme with IndiGo scheduled to operate flight services from Allahabad to Bhubaneswar.

Odisha government had proposed the Civil Aviation Ministry for inclusion of 23 airstrips under the second phase of UDAN scheme for air connectivity. Among 23 airstrips, 9 are managed by the state government and seven are managed by various private companies or individuals or under the Defence Ministry. The remaining seven are yet to be in use.

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