Published On : Sat, Dec 9th, 2017

SpiceJet conducts seaplane trials in Mumbai

Mumbai: SpiceJet today conducted seaplane trials in association with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings at Mumbai’s Girgaum Chowpatty.

The seaplane trials were conducted in the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, and Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister of Civil Aviation.

Gadkari said seaplanes will give a big push for regional connectivity.

“Till Independence 71 airports in the country were available for scheduled operations. Since Udaan scheme we are looking at 80 destinations in two rounds (phases),” Gadkari said adding that they are also planning seaplane service from Delhi to Agra.

SpiceJet and Setouchi Holdings have been working closely for over six months to explore opportunities for small ten and fourteen seater amphibious and land plane operations to provide air connectivity to smaller towns and cities of India, particularly the ones that remained unconnected due to infrastructural challenges.

According to Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet all these seaplanes are DGCA approved.

Amphibious planes are reliable, tough, and resilient and can take off and land from places that do not have landing strips or runways but have water bodies.

Japan’s Setouchi Holdings Inc is a pioneer in the small aircraft aviation which is a part of Tsuneishi Group of Hiroshima Prefecture.

SpiceJet is the only Indian company so far to explore air connectivity through water bodies such as rivers and inland waterways.

Today’s trial was the second phase of trials for the amphibious aircraft. Under the first phase, trials of the land plane were conducted in Nagpur and Guwahati.

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra regions in North East, Andamans, Lakshadweep are among few destinations that are being evaluated for amphibious plane operations.

Aviation is the fastest growing industry in India in terms of passenger traffic said Aviation Minister, Raju. He also said demonstration of seaplanes will lead to a flurry of travel activity and enhance passenger traffic.

India is the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic and fourth in the world.