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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

This plan can take off from water, land; you may be able to take a ride in six months

The test runs was conducted by SpiceJet between Nagpur and Guwahati on Sunday and Wednesday

mumbai Updated: Oct 06, 2017 09:43 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

If everything works as per the plan, then regions that lack air connectivity will soon benefit from 14-seater amphibious planes for which trial runs were conducted this week. The test runs was conducted by SpiceJet between Nagpur and Guwahati on Sunday and Wednesday. The company said it will buy more than 100 planes from Japan’s Setouchi Holdings Inc and start operations in the next six to 12 months.

The amphibious plane, which can land both on airstrip and water, can use unpaved runways that are shorter than the conventional ones. Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, said while India is one of the world’s fastest growing markets, only 3% Indians travel by air. He also pointed out that infrastructural challenges have been a deterrent for providing air connectivity to smaller towns and cities.

“ With the ability to land in a small or confined space, smaller fixed wing aircraft are the perfect flying machines that can effectively connect the country’s remote cities and airstrips which can in turn revolutionise the regional connectivity scheme,” said Singh while speaking to reporters in Guwahati.

President of Air Passengers Association of India, Sudhakar Reddy said small aircraft are a good addition to passenger air services.

“It is a good idea to operate amphibious planes, as they will not only have cheaper air tickets but will also be able to operate during a medical emergency during which a patient can be flown to the required place without wasting time.”

The airline said that the plans will boost the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) by connecting regions having poor airport infrastructure. The scheme, also called UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik), seeks to provide air connectivity to locations that lack adequate and affordable air links.

First Published: Oct 06, 2017 09:43 IST

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