JSW Group bids to offer commercial flights under PM Modi's Udan project

BT Online        Last Updated: February 27, 2017  | 17:28 IST
JSW Group bids to offer commercial flights under PM Modi's Udan project

Billionaire Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group is set to give wings to PM Modi's UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) scheme to improve flight connectivity for small towns and villages.

JSW Group made a bid in an ongoing auction process which will allow companies asking for minimum government subsidies to operate scheduled commercial flights to the country's underutilized airstrips, a Bloomberg report said on Monday.

The aim is to improve connectivity between the group's plants, the report quoted Chief Financial Officer Seshagiri Rao.

The firm isn't bidding under listed entities such as JSW Steel Ltd., India's largest privately owned producer of the material, the report added.

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The government's ambitious UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) scheme aims at boosting air connectivity to and from unserved and under-served airports and making flying more affordable.

Terming UDAN as a game changer and a "step change" in Indian aviation, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had earlier said that Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 43 initial proposals from 11 bidders for 190 routes under the scheme.

"We have 75 operational airports currently in the country. Through the bids that we have received for UDAN, it appears that we will now have 43 new airports that will be joining our aviation network. So now 118 airports are going to be operational once UDAN gets implemented next month or so," Sinha added.

PM Modi has promised tax breaks and waivers of landing and parking charges for some underused airfields in the world's fastest growing aviation market.

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