Kerala on Sunday became the first state in the country to launch an amphibian seaplane service — to be performed by a vehicle that can fly and move on water and land — for tourism purposes.
A seaplane prepares to take off from the Ashtamudi lake, during the launch of the Seaplane service by Kerala Tourism Department in Kollam district, Kerala. PTI Photo
Chief minister Oommen Chandy inaugurated the six-seat aircraft’s maiden journey in Astamudi Lake in Kollam, south Kerala, amid protests by fishermen.
“We will run it effectively without endangering our fragile eco-system,” Chandy said. Initially major tourist destinations of the state will be covered under the service.
Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy flag off seaplane service from the Ashtamudi lake in Kollam to the Punnamada Lake in Alapuzha. Agencies
Seaplanes will be allowed to run only during the day and six persons, including the pilot, can travel at a time. The aircraft will fly at a low height below clouds, giving travellers a panoramic view. The tentative rate is Rs. 6,000 for an hour, though it is not final.
The service is there in the Andaman Islands, where it is used only for rescue and damage control.