SpiceJet to launch seaplane services in Gujarat from October 31
Budget carrier- SpiceJet announced the launch of its seaplane on Wednesday between Ahmedabad (Sabarmati riverfront) and the Statue of Unity in Kevadia, Gujarat. The flights, managed by its fully-owned subsidiary- Spice Shuttle, will operate two daily flights from Saturday, October 31, and ticket bookings will be available from Friday. Under government’s regional connectivity scheme- Udan Desh Ka Aam Nagarik (UDAN), passengers will be charged ₹1500.
A 15-seater Twin Otter 300 aircraft will depart from Ahmedabad at 10:15am and will reach the Statue of Unity, Kevadia at 10:45am. It will leave Kevadia at 11.45am to reach Ahmedabad at 12.15pm. The second flight to Kevadi will depart at 12.45pm and it will leave for Ahmedabad at 3.15pm
Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, said, “Our seaplane service between the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad and Statue of Unity in Kevadia will cut down travel time to just about half an hour and will be a unique, exhilarating flying experience that would boost travel and tourism. Infrastructural challenges have been a key deterrent for providing air connectivity to smaller towns and cities. With the ability to land on a small water body, seaplanes are the perfect flying machines that can effectively connect the remotest parts of India into the mainstream aviation network without the high cost of building airports and runways.”
The airline said that the aircraft has undergone regular maintenance, overhauling and seat refurbishment and has a valid airworthiness review certificate (ARC).
“All the required SoPs to operate these flights are in-line with operational guidance of seaplane operations. It is fitted with efficient Twin Turboprop Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 engines, known for their reliability. The aircraft has an incredible accident-free history and is one of the most sought-after aircraft for an ultimate flying experience not only in the Maldives but across the world,” said the airline spokesperson.
SpiceJet has secured 18 seaplane routes under UDAN which includes – Ahmedabad-Kevadia, Agatti-Minicoy and Agatti-Kavaratti among others. By introducing and successfully running seaplanes in the country, the government aims to boost tourism.
The airline had conducted seaplane trials in 2017. While under the first phase, trials were conducted in Nagpur and Guwahati, the second phase saw trials at the city’s Girgaum Chowpatty.