In October 2016, the government started the Ude Deshka Aam Nagarik (UDAN) scheme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged the first flight under this scheme in August this year. Airlines have been receiving increased accusations of canceling tickets for the last one year. Currently, the charges for cancellation of a ticket may vary from Rs 2,950 to Rs 4,000 for domestic flights. But, in the early Christmas for travelers, the government is planning to tell the airlines to put such allegations at a proper level. Under UDAN, the flight tickets were capped over Rs 2,500 per hour, so the cancellation fee should not be higher than the ticket price.
Aviation Minister Jayant Sinha said, “We believe that the cancellation fees are on the higher side and there is a lot of charge for the passenger. The fee is in many cases more than the price of the ticket itself. Under our UDAN (subsidized regional flying) scheme a passenger has to pay Rs 2500 per hour for flying. It is necessary to bring back the fees for cancellation in balance.
Airlines are increasing the charges of cancellation from January 2016. It is alleged that from Rs. 1,800 cancellation charges have now been raised up to Rs 2,400. Now, it is Rs. 3000 in November 2017. Besides working to remove cancellation fees, the government is also working on ‘Passenger Bill of Rights’ (PBOR). PBOR expects that they will clearly tell the rights and duties of the passengers.
What is UDAN Scheme (Yojana)?
- In October 2016, UDAN (Ude Deshka Aam Nagarik) scheme was announced by the Ministry of Civil Aviation in India. And the scheme implemented in January 2017.
- Under this scheme, travelers can buy a ticket at Rs. 2500 only. A single traveler can book from 9 to 40 seats under this scheme.
- The rate of Rs. 2500 is not for full seats available in flights. If the passenger is taking this scheme then only 50% seats will be related to the scheme. The remaining seats will be priced according to the market rate.
- Under this scheme, the maximum cost is Rs.2500. No other charges will be levied at this cost after availing this scheme. This price is valid for only one hour of flights
The Outcome of the Scheme
This plan was prepared by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for the first time in the month of July. It officially came in the month of October 2016. According to the Ministry, this scheme will be helpful to those common citizens, who have to travel frequently for commercial purposes. Because people know that flights take less time than any other transportation, but fares are much higher than trains or road transport, so the ministry has decided to hold it at the fixed level.
Some of the private airlines voiced against it. According to them, this scheme could be a hindrance to the profit level, although 50% of seats will be available at market value, yet they are not happy with the decision.
|Mode of tranportation||Flight|
|No. of seats||9 to 40 per user|
|Total available seats||50% of the total seats|
UDAN Scheme Routes
|1||Delhi to Bhatinda|
|2||Delhi to Shimla|
|3||Delhi to Kullu|
|4||Delhi to Agra|
|5||Delhi to Pathankot|
|6||Delhi to Pantnagar|
|7||Delhi to Ludhiana|
|8||Delhi to Bikaner|
|9||Jaipur to Agra|
|10||Jaipur to Jaisalmer|
|11||Shilong to Agartala|
|12||Shilong to Aizwal|
|13||Shilong to Dimapur|
|14||Shilong to Imphal|
|15||Shilong to Silchar|
|16||Kolkata to Burnpur|
|17||Kolkata to Cooch Behar|
|18||Kolkata to Durgapur|
|19||Kolkata to Jamshedpur|
|20||Kolkata to Rourkela|
|21||Puducherry to Hyderabad|
|22||Puducherry to Salem|
|23||Puducherry to Chennai|
|24||Ahmedabad to Diu|
|25||Ahmedabad to Dwarka|
|26||Ahmedabad to Jamnagar|
|27||Ahmedabad to Mundra|
|28||Mumbai to Kandla|
|29||Mumbai to Porbandar|
|30||Mumbai to Jalgaon|
|31||Mumbai to Nashik|
|32||Mumbai to Sholapur|
Companies Earned Huge by Charging for Cancellation Fees
- Indigo is responsible for its revenue earned from the cancellation fee charge under ‘Ancillary Revenue’ for the financial year 2010. These revenues include a large number of items – cargo, special service requests, ticket modification, in-flight sales and cancellation fees. In its annual report, the company reported an increase in subsidiary revenue, which grew by 13.2% to 20,019.98 million (2001 crore) in FY16, to 22,667.58 million (Rs.2266 crore) in FY10.
- Jet Airways has mentioned its consolidated financial statements that the income earned by cancellation by 31 March 2017 is Rs 621.1 crore.
- However, SpiceJet did not clearly express the earned money by cancellation charges.
According to the data from the General Administration of Civil Aviation, in October 2017, the total amount paid by more than 8,000 passengers to domestic airlines to compensate for the impact of flight cancellations was Rs. 40.51 Lakh.
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