The first regional connectivity flight on the Delhi-Shimla route has elicited good response with most of the seats at subsidised fare booked for the next one month. Little over half of the seats in the Shimla-bound flight, operated by Air India subsidiary Alliance Air with a 42-seater plane, are being sold at the discounted fare of Rs 2,036, inclusive of taxes. Under the government’s regional air connectivity scheme UDAN, prime minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the flight from Shimla to Delhi carrying 12 passengers.
An analysis of the availability of seats on the flight for the next one month showed that most of the discounted fare seats have been booked. “We want to have more seats but unfortunately we can’t. Since, this is the season for travelling to Shimla and with fares as low as Rs 2,000, we are seeing tremendous response,” said C S Subbiah, CEO, Alliance Air.
Lauding the development, Rajeev Kale, president and country head (leisure travel and MICE), Thomas Cook India, said, “Regional connectivity also serves as a viable hub and spoke model that is vital for the India’s tourism sector and equally its positive ripple effect of job creation and employment generation. India offers significant burgeoning potential – both domestic tourism, MICE and inbound; hence this initiative is perfectly timed to inspire and catalyse latent demand not just for the immediate peak summer season, but year round and create a much needed fillip for high potential tourist locales across regional Tier II and Tier III cities and towns. At Thomas Cook India our domestic growth has already shown a strong increase of 50 per cent and the UDAN scheme is set to add much needed impetus to an already growing segment.”