Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 27 flagged off the first UDAN flight under Regional Connectivity Scheme in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh. While speaking to a gathering, PM said that earlier aviation was considered to be the domain of a select few but things have changed now.

“The lives of the middle class are being transformed and their aspirations are increasing. Given the right chance they can do wonders”, said PM.

For the inaugural flight, officials of Air India, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Aviation Ministry were present.

After flagging off first UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik), PM said, “We had the opportunity to frame a civil aviation policy, which caters to aspirations of the people of India”. It will boost the  going to help tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh, added PM

Emphasising on the importance of smaller cities, PM said, “Tier-2 & Tier-3 cities are becoming growth engines. If aviation connectivity is enhanced in these places, it will be beneficial.”

UDAN scheme aims at improving connectivity across airports and making flying affordable to a wide number of citizens. Under UDAN, 50 percent of the seats on each flight would have a cap of Rs 2,500 per seat/hour.

“Airfare for a 1-hour journey of approx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for a 30-minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500,” said PMO. “This with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration,” it added.