Pune: On December 22, 2017, the first flight under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, arrived from Nashik at Pune Airport. Under this scheme, the flight Nashik-Mumbai-Nashik-Pune was started by Air Deccan.
However, now three months after that first flight, booking for this flight has been stopped by the airline as not a single booking has been done for next 15 days. The airlines claim that new schedules are being planned and hence, they have suspended the operation.
“The operation of the flight is suspended due to rescheduling. There are new schedules coming and soon, the operation will be resumed,” said officials of Air Deccan. However, the sources at Pune airport said that the flight was not getting good response from passengers.
“We don’t know the actual reason behind the suspension of the operation, but there is no good response from passengers,” said a source from the Pune airport
Air Deccan had delayed its operations by almost three months after winning the connectivity bids under UDAN and started operations from December 22, 2017. For the first phase of the scheme, Air Deccan won the bid to start flight operations from airports located in Ozar (Nashik), Kolhapur, Jalgaon and Solapur. Sources said flights connecting Mumbai to Nashik and Mumbai to Jalgaon airport were also set to start operations from December 23, 2018.
Anant Sardeshmukh, Director General and Member of the Board of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA), said, “Pune is an IT hub, whereas Nashik is an industry hub. Air connectivity between the two cities was the need of the hour. It became easy to travel between Pune and Nashik when the flight was started. I think the timing of the flight is causing inconvenience. If it operates in the day, it will get more response.”
Lacunae in UDAN scheme
Air Deccan had announced the commencement of two flights from Nashik (Ozar)- Nashik-Mumbai and Nashik-Pune from September last year.
- Earlier, Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had announced that air service from 45 cities across the country will commence under UDAN scheme from March 30, 2018.
- Services, however, could not begin since the airline was unable to get slots at Mumbai.