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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Seaplanes to boost Kerala tourism

Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 26, 2013
First Published: 00:46 IST(26/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:48 IST(26/3/2013)

To give tourism further boost, the Kerala government will start its sea-plane services next month, official sources have said.

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The amphibian aircraft will fly at a low height below the clouds giving travellers a chance to get a panoramic view. Other states are also planning to start seaplane services to bolster tourism.

"I am very optimistic that this will further increase the number of tourists to the state. The planes will only operate on backwaters," state tourism secretary Suman Billa said.

Kerala gets close to 1 crore visitors every year.

"We plan to carry out the test flight by April 15 and regular services will start anytime after that," MD Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Ltd Anil Kumar S said.

While the refuelling and maintenance of these aircraft will be done at Trivandrum, Cochin and Calicut airports, there would be five water dromes at Ashtamudi,Punnamada (Alapuzha), Thanneermu-kkom (Kumarakom), Bolgatty (Cochin) and Bekkal.

The seaplanes, Kumar said, could be used for joy rides besides helping tourists reach their destinations in around 30 minutes.


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