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Air Deccan’s UDAN flights from North East to start in Dec

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Low cost airline Air Deccan is set to start operations under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS), also known as UDAN, from December 15 this year, airport officials at Shillong said. Under the Centre’s UDAN scheme, air fares are capped at `2,500 per person for an hour’s flight to Tier II and Tier III cities in which the government will provide subsidy for flying with such low fares.

“Air Deccan authorities have given the schedule saying that they would start operating from December 15, this year,” said M K Nayak, the director of Shillong airport. The low cost carrier (LCC) will use an 18-20 seater aircraft to carry out the operations, the airport director said. Air Deccan will use Shillong as a hub and it will connect the hub with other destinations in the region such as Agartala, Aizawl and Imphal, he said.

The airline will also operate flights between Kolkata and Agartala, the director added. The Centre had recently asked Air Deccan to start operations from the region by making Shillong as a hub after the airline failed to meet the deadline for launching flights on the routes it had bagged under the UDAN scheme.

At present, Alliance Air, the regional arm of Air India, connects Shillong to Kolkata. The airport director said since Shillong airport is a hub for regional connectivity, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has provided facilities for refuelling aircraft. In this regard, Oil India has also completed setting up the refuelling facility within the vicinity of the airport and another oil company is about to complete the refuelling facilities, he said.

Nayak also said that a growth in the tourism sector is also expected once Air Deccan starts operating flights.