India's Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has awarded rights for 76 routes under the fourth round of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik - UDAN/RCS) with start-ups Air Taxi (India) (Delhi International) and flybig (FLG, Indore) emerging as major regional operators, CNBC-TV18 has reported.

According to the report, Air Taxi has been awarded rights for 22 routes, including services from Hisar, Kanpur Chakeri, Chitrakoot, and Shravasti. In turn, FlyBig has secured subsidies for 16 routes, including from Guwahati, Pasighat, Tezu, and Rupsi.

The MoCA has yet to announce the list of carriers selected in the fourth round of UDAN bidding. In late August, the authorities announced the list of 78 routes pre-approved for contracts. According to CNBC-TV18, besides Air Taxi and FlyBig, Alliance Air (India), IndiGo Airlines, SpiceJet, TruJet, and Ventura AirConnect have also scooped rights.

Air Taxi has been in the works since at least 2014. In early 2019, it won the rights to operate the Kullu-Shimla route during the third round of UDAN bidding. However, it has yet to certify and launch the services. The Hindustan Times reported in late September that both Air Taxi and FlyBig were nearing the completion of their respective certification processes. Both are targetting ATR - Avions de Transport Régional turboprops for their fleets.

FlyBig, while undergoing certification as a regional UDAN-focused operator, remains simultaneously involved in bidding for Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai International). The Financial Express has reported that the consortium of FlyBig, Flight Simulation Technique Centre, and Abu Dhabi's Imperial Capital Investments is one of two bidders which submitted a resolution proposal for the defunct carrier last week. Its only remaining rival is another consortium comprising Kalrock Capital and entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan.

Jet Airways creditors are expected to decide on the two proposals through e-voting by the end of the current week. However, due to uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the resolution professionals have not yet set a precise deadline for either the submission of bids or the decision of the creditors.