Indian carrier SpiceJet reportedly plans to start its first regional seaplane service from Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, India, to the Statue of Unity at Kevadia, Gujarat. Speaking to local media, the spokesperson of the air carrier stated that the launch of the regional operation was scheduled for October 31, 2020.
SpiceJet would operate two regular daily flights on the Ahmedabad-Kevadia route and 17 more regional destinations with its Twin Otter 300 seaplane. The flights would be operated by SpiceJet subsidiary Spice Shuttle.
Speaking to local media, Ajay Singh, the Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, announced that the price of a one-way ticket for 30 minutes flight would start from as little as $20 (Rs 1500). However, the seaplane would be able to carry a maximum of 14 passengers with up to 7 kg of luggage per person.
The Chairman of SpiceJet said that the launch of its first seaplane service should be perpetuated „as one of the most notable events in the history of Indian aviation“. Singh explained that the new operations would provide locals the regional 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,” stated Singh speaking to the New Indian Express.
The Chairman of SpiceJet claimed that while having a valid Airworthiness Review Certificate (ARC), Twin Otter 300, a seaplane fitted with Twin Turboprop Pratt & Whitney PT6A-27 engines, has been undergoing regular maintenance, overhauling, and seat refurbishment processes.