Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently inaugurated the maiden Shimla-New Delhi flight under the regional connectivity scheme (RCS) to boost regional air connectivity.

The flight is being operated by a subsidiary of Air India, Alliance Air, which deployed its 42-seater ATR plane on this sector.

At the same time, the prime minister also flagged off RCS flights on the Kadapa- Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors through video- conferencing.

With the RCS scheme, which is also known as UDAN, the government aims to connect 45 unserved and underserved airports and make flying affordable by capping fares at Rs 2500 per seat/ hour.

Under the scheme, five airlines have been awarded 128 routes following a bidding process.

The operators, as per the UDAN scheme, would be extended viability gap funding (VGF). The amount is estimated to be around Rs 205 crore per annum for the operators chosen in the first round of bidding.

The state governments would provide a certain share of the VGF, with nineteen states and three union territories signing a Memorandum of Understanding for this purpose.