New Delhi: The government has decided to not open for now the financial bids submitted by Air Deccan and Air Odisha for eight routes currently being auctioned under the third phase of the UDAN scheme, a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said on Tuesday.

Six networks that had been awarded to the two airlines in the first round of the auctions under the Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme have already been cancelled by the ministry due to “non-performance" or “poor performance". UDAN is a subsidised low fare initiative to connect small cities in the country and to help more people fly.

“We have decided that at present, we would not open the financial bids for Air Deccan and Air Odisha. We will go ahead as it is not a valid proposal. The final decision regarding this would be taken at the highest level only," the official said.

“As they have come for bidding (for UDAN-3), if we have to eliminate them, we have to follow the due process," he added.

“We have to open technical bids because without opening them, we would not know who the bidders are. When we opened the technical bids, we came to know that there are five proposals from Air Odisha and three from GSEC Monarch and Deccan Aviation Private Limited," the official said.

GSEC Monarch and Deccan Aviation Private Limited jointly run the airline Air Deccan.

Under UDAN-I, there were five proposals from Air Odisha and four from Air Deccan. “Out of these nine proposals, we have cancelled six proposals (networks)," the official saidMinister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha on January 2 through a written reply that six networks awarded to Air Deccan and Air Odisha in the first round of auctions under the UDAN scheme had been cancelled due to “non-performance" or “poor performance". The six networks consisted of 16 flights of Air Deccan and 40 flights of Air Odisha, and they were cancelled for “non-commencement of RCS flights" or “not maintaining 70 per cent RCS flight operation", Sinha stated. The Ministry of Civil Aviation launched the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), named “UDAN", on October 21, 2016 to facilitate and stimulate regional air connectivity by making it affordable.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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