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.
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.
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.