While addressing a press conference at the Kushabhau Thakre Parisar, BJP’s state office in Chattisgarh, Hardeep Singh Puri confirmed that Bilaspur airport would get to see domestic flights from March 1, 2021. These flights will be conducted under the regional connectivity scheme, ‘UDAN’ of the government. It is worth noting that Bilaspur airport got upgraded from the ‘2C’ category to the ‘3C’ category just a few days back. The ‘3C’ category airports can allow the landing of a 72-seater aircraft instead of 40 seater aircraft under the ‘2C’ category — more details on the story ahead.
Alliance Air to be the First Airline to Operate from Bilaspur
According to a PTI report, the first airline that will operate from Bilaspur is the subsidiary of Air India, ‘Alliance Air’, which will operate in the Bilaspur-Prayagraj-Delhi route. The flight schedules or any other details of the flights that will be operated from Bilaspur are unknown. The website of Alliance Air or Air India also doesn’t reveal any information about the same.
Puri said that his ministry is working to connect 1,000 new air routes under the UDAN scheme.
It will operationalise around 100 airports which are unserved or underserved at the moment. Since the UDAN scheme was announced in 2017, around 700 routes have already been awarded out of which air services have started in 311 routes with a budget of Rs 4,500 crores.
The Civil Aviation Minister also took a jibe at Congress for worsening the economic condition of the state-run airline, Air India. He said that the government has to discuss the airline's privatisation because Congress didn’t appropriately treat the national asset.
Air India is in a debt of around Rs 60,000 crore. The airline is going to be privatised, and bidding for the same will initiate soon. Puri has promised that everything that goes on with the airline will take place in a transparent manner.
Puri also said that privatisation of the aviation sector needs to take place. This is because the government doesn’t specialise in operating airports.