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Home >News >India >100 airports, 1,000 route: Aviation minister shares a glimpse of UDAN's future

The government has decided to operationalise 100 unserved and underserved airports and start at least 1,000 air routes under the UDAN scheme, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference in BJP's state office in Raipur over the Union Budget 2021-22, Puri also said that privatisation is required in the field of aviation as it is not the government's specialisation to run airports.

"My ministry has set a target to operationalise 100 unserved and underserved airports and start at least 1,000 air routes under the UDAN scheme," he said.

"Fifty-six airports have already been upgraded and over 700 routes awarded, of which air-service has commenced on 311 routes under the UDAN scheme since it was launched in 2017 with a budget of 4,500 crore," Puri said.

He said that domestic flight services from Bilaspur town in Chhattisgarh will begin from March 1 under the regional connectivity scheme. "At present, the Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, has been given the Bilaspur- Prayagraj-Delhi route," Puri said.

Regarding the disinvestment in Air India, the minister said that the airline currently has an accumulated debt of 60,000 crore and the process of its privatisation is underway since long, but it will be the NDA government which is going to properly materialise it.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had in 2020 announced that the government plans to set up 100 more airports by 2025 under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

Under the program, airlines compete to win subsidies for operating flights linking small airports with the bigger ones. The scheme, launched in October 2017, is now in its fourth phase.

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