PC: thehindu.com

IndiGo set to join UDAN scheme

New Delhi: IndiGo, the country’s largest airline by market share, is likely to participate in the government’s UDAN scheme for providing regional air connectivity.

The airline on Tuesday announced the signing of a term sheet with Avions de Transport Regional G.I.E. (ATR) for purchase of 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft. This is for the first time that the airline will mix its narrow body fleet with turboprop jets. IndiGo has 133 Airbus A320 aircraft in its fleet at present.

“In support of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN vision, we are embarking on a journey to build a nationwide regional network and connect cities that have not benefited from the growth in Indian aviation,” IndiGo’s president and Whole-time Director Aditya Ghosh said.

 IndiGo plans to start regional aircraft operations by end of this year and expects to induct up to 20 ATR aircraft by December 2018.

The airline will set up a separate division to run turboprop aircraft operations, separate from the company’s main divisions. “We will have a focussed division with complete responsibility to run turboprop operations. It will be an autonomous body, which will not overlap with our narrow body operations,” Mr. Ghosh said.

The Centre plans to open the second round of bidding for its regional connectivity scheme named UDAN. In its first round, it awarded 128 routes under the regional connectivity scheme connecting 70 airports to SpiceJet, Alliance Air, TruJet, Air Deccan and Air Odisha Aviation.

Source: thehindu.com

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