India's plan to get the masses flying struggles to take off

A SpiceJet plane landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Indian airlines have faced mounting losses due to high jet-fuel prices and a weak rupee that outweighed an increase in passenger traffic.
A SpiceJet plane landing at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Indian airlines have faced mounting losses due to high jet-fuel prices and a weak rupee that outweighed an increase in passenger traffic.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

Out of 428 routes given to airlines since start of scheme in 2016, only 100 operational

More than two years after it was launched, an ambitious government expansion plan to make flying available and affordable to India's masses has struggled to take off.

Only 100 of the 428 routes that have been handed out to airlines under the Udan scheme were operational as of Oct 24.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 13, 2018, with the headline 'India's plan to get the masses flying struggles to take off'. Print Edition | Subscribe