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SpiceJet conducts seaplane trials in Mumbai
  • Big push for regional connectivity
  • Follows successful land plane trials in Nagpur and Guwahati
  • Will bring smaller cities on the country’s aviation map
  • First & only Indian airline to explore air connectivity through water bodies
  • Amphibious planes can take off and land both from short, unimproved strips and water bodies

Gurugram, December 9, 2017: SpiceJet, the country’s largest regional player, took a major step forward towards its goal of providing air connectivity to the remotest parts of the country as it conducted seaplane trials in association with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings at Mumbai’s Girgaum Chowpatty today.

SpiceJet and Setouchi Holdings have been working closely for over six months to explore opportunities for small ten and fourteen seater amphibious and land plane operations to provide air connectivity to smaller towns and cities of India which have hitherto remained unconnected due to infrastructural challenges.

This was the second phase of trials for the amphibious aircraft. Under the first phase, trials of the land plane were conducted in Nagpur and Guwahati.

The seaplane trails were conducted today in the presence of Shri Nitin Gadkari, Honourable Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Honourable Minister of Civil Aviation and senior government and aviation officials. SpiceJet is the only Indian airline to explore air connectivity through water bodies such as rivers or inland waterways.

Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, regions in the North East, Andamans, Lakshadweep and other coastal areas are a few destinations that are being evaluated for amphibious plane operations.

Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet said, “We see tremendous potential in our smaller cities and we feel it is our duty as an Indian carrier to bring these smaller towns on the country’s aviation map. Being the largest regional airline in the country and a trendsetter of the Regional Connectivity Scheme - UDAN, SpiceJet will continue to add new wings and give a boost to regional economies.”

“Seaplane operations can bring the remotest parts of India into the mainstream aviation network without the high cost of building airports and runways. While we are one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world, we need to ensure equitable and inclusive air connectivity within the country. Our seaplane service will open a whole new market for both the airline and tourism industry and will revolutionise the regional connectivity scheme.”

Kazuyuki Okada, President & CEO, Setouchi Holdings Inc., said, “SpiceJet has been doing an incredible job in driving the government’s UDAN scheme from the very beginning. We are delighted to associate with the airline to support them in their grand endeavour. With the ability to land in a small or confined space, Kodiaks are the perfect flying machines that can effectively connect the country’s remote cities and airstrips, which can in turn revolutionize the regional connectivity scheme. We look forward to exploring new opportunities with SpiceJet which will help us serve India better.”

Japan’s Setouchi Holdings Inc., a pioneer in the small aircraft aviation industry, is a part of the Tsuneishi Group of Hiroshima Prefecture. Setouchi Holding owns QUEST, the manufacturer of specialised amphibious and non-amphibious range of aircraft globally. There are about 200 Kodiak Quest aircraft flying all over the world for the past 10 years.

Amphibious planes are reliable, tough and resilient and can take off and land from places that do not have landing strips or runways and water bodies, thus reaching areas that lack other modes of transport or adequate infrastructure. Reliable, tough and resilient these smaller fixed wing aircraft can land on water bodies, gravel and grass.

SpiceJet, today, stands tall as the country’s largest regional player and among the pacesetters for the UDAN scheme, kick-starting four routes in the recent past and plans for unveiling more. This initiative reaffirms SpiceJet’s commitment to the regional connectivity scheme.