By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, November 23, 2018: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has cancelled the UDAN contract of the low cost carrier Air Odisha for Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha, citing the airline’s poor performance in the central government’s regional connectivity scheme.

The air carrier is not regularly operating its flight services under the UDAN scheme citing various reasons, including technical glitches, the AAI pointed out adding that it could not fly 70 per cent of its flights during the last five months as per the agreement with it. .

With this, Air Odisha flights from Bhubaneswar to Raipur and from Raipur to Jagdalpur have been cancelled. The cancellation also puts in doubt the viability of the newly built Jharsuguda airport, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched on September 22 under the UDAN scheme.

Last month, the Congress MLA Naba Das had sat on a dharna in front of the Jharsuguda Airport last month demanding regular flight operation at the newly inaugurated Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Airport in Jharsuguda. He had also written a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik seeking his intervention in this regard. Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan also had sought cancellation of license of Air Odisha.

Sources said that Air Odisha had financial, crew and aircraft-related problems that constrained it from flying in the three-state network.

Earlier, the civil aviation ministry had slapped a show-cause notice on Air Odisha for discontinuing flight from the Jharsuguda airport.

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