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Monday, 31 December, 2018, 11 : 30 AM [IST]

Seaplane completes first trial run in Mumbai; operations likely to begin in a year

According to Hindustan times (HT), SpiceJet conducted the trial of a 10-seater seaplane. This was the first time in India that a seaplane landed on water. After being delayed by more than one-and-a-half hours owing to low visibility, the amphibious aircraft landed at Girgaum Chowpatty at 3.10 pm. The airlines aims to buy five 10-seater seaplanes and begin commercial operations within a year.

Sources said that Japan’s Setouchi Holdings will deliver the first batch of aircraft in next six months. With civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari on board, the aircraft took seven minutes to reach Girgaum from the Mumbai airport.

Sources said that the 10-seater aircraft costs around $4 million. “The formation of air routes takes three to six months. We are considering route suggestions from chief ministers,” said Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet.

Though the airline has not disclosed potential routes, it said the seaplane will also be used for offshore oil rigs and emergencies. Officials said the airline wanted to focus on remote areas.

Kazuyuki Okada, President and CEO, Setouchi Holdings, said, “Kodiaks are the perfect flying machines to effectively connect remote cities.” Vipul Saxena, an expert, termed the entry of amphibian aircraft revolutionary. He cautioned the authorities to put in place a robust management system for safety of fliers.

(Source: HT)

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