The government has received over 100 proposals under the third phase of UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme and will announce the final allotments soon, a senior government official said on January 7.
"The bidding process has been completed and we have done the evaluation. We will place the results before the minister soon," a senior official said.
The official said that the third phase received approximately 111 initial proposals by 15 airlines. Of these, six airlines participated in counter-bidding process through which 17 counter proposals were received.
UDAN was launched by the government in 2016 to make traveling via airways affordable for common man. The regional connectivity scheme (RCS) nudged airlines to operate over routes that were either undeserved or not served at all.
The aim of the scheme is connecting major cities with tier-II and tier-III cities at a price of Rs 2,500 per one-hour flight.
According to the official, the government “did due diligence” before accepting bids during UDAN-3 after airlines like Air Odisha and Air Deccan were found incapable of flying over the routes due to financial incapability.
"We did not consider proposals by Air Odisha and Air Deccan as valid proposals and decided to avoid opening their financial bids… Their technical bids, however, were considered by the ministry," the official said.
According to data by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Air Deccan and Air Odisha managed to fly only 3,000 and 1,000 passengers, respectively, between July and October 2018.
In November 2018, Airports Authority of India (AAI) cancelled licence of Air Odisha on two routes (Chhattisgarh and Chennai) and of Air Deccan on one route (Maharashtra).
According to sources, Air Odisha has submitted technical five proposals and Air Deccan has submitted three technical proposals.
The official also said that the cancelled routes of UDAN 1 and 2 were re-bid under UDAN-3 and were given “priority treatment” during this round of bidding.
Of the nine cancelled routes under UDAN-1, five belonged to Air Odisha and four belonged to Air Deccan. Of these, six have been re-bid under UDAN-3.Between 2016 and 2018, 122 air-routes have been made operational under the RCS, serving 21 underserved and 14 newly operated airports.