Fly by February 15 or fly out

Private airlines Air Deccan has received a final deadline to start regular flights between Jamshedpur and Calcutta by February 15 this year, Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, who was here on Tuesday, said.

By Our Special Correspondent in Jamshedpur
  • Published 10.01.18
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Sonari airport in Jamshedpur

Jamshedpur: Private airlines Air Deccan has received a final deadline to start regular flights between Jamshedpur and Calcutta by February 15 this year, Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, who was here on Tuesday, said.

If not, the opportunity would go to another bidder.

Admitting to take-off delays in Jamshedpur-Calcutta flights under the Centre's UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) Yojana, minister Jayant said the private operator promised to start the service by January, but was given a "final opportunity" to do so by February 15 by the civil aviation ministry.

"They (Air Deccan) were supposed to start the flight service by September 30, 2017, but cited genuine reasons such as delays such as taking an 18-passenger Beechcraft on lease, procedural delays in getting clearance from the DGCA and pilot certification, among others. They have said they would start the service this month. We have given them time till February 15, after which the route will go to another bidder under the UDAN scheme," Union minister Jayant, also Hazaribagh MP, said.

He also said talks were held with Tata Steel for a joint technical analysis with Airports Authority of India to increase runway clearance at the existing Sonari airport for landing of the bigger 42-seater ATRs.

The second round of bidding under UDAN scheme had begun and details would be announced this month, he added. They will be for flights between Bokaro/Dhanbad and Calcutta, and between Dumka and Ranchi, among others.