Recently, it has been announced that SpiceJet will be operating two daily seaplane flights between Ahmedabad Sabarmati Riverfront and the Statue of Unity in Kevadia from 31st October, Saturday, which is also considered the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel.
The fares of these seaplanes will be initiating from Rs 1500 under the UDAN scheme. This is an all-inclusive one-way fare system. Spice shuttle which is a cash-strapped airlines subsidiary will be operating on a Twin Otter 300 aircraft using a 15 seater that has been weight-leased from Maldivian Aero, which is a national airline of Maldives.
Under the government UDAN scheme, SpiceJet has won around 18 seaplane routes and will shortly be beginning with Ahmedabad – Statue of Unity. The CMD of SpiceJet, Ajay Singh has announced in one of his speeches that the launch of their first seaplane service will always be considered as one of the most remarkable events in the Indian history of aviation. This airplane service operating between the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad and Statue of Unity in Kevadia will decrease the time needed to travel to just about half an hour. This will rather be proven as the most notable, unique and life-changing flying experience. However, the infrastructural challenges will never be a hindrance key for providing air connectivity to smaller cities and towns.
Seaplanes are probably the perfect flying machines that have the capacity to land even on a small water body, successfully and effectively connecting the remotest locations in India with the mainstream aviation network without the burden of the high cost of building runways and airports. Passengers will now be able to book their seaplane tickets from an online site – www.spiceshuttle.com from 30th October Friday onwards.
There have been several seaplane trials conducted by SpiceJet in Nagpur, Mumbai’s GirgaumChowpatty and Guwahati since 2017. Under the UDAN scheme, the 18 seaplane routes covered by SpiceJet includes Ahmedabad – Kevadiai.e Sabarmati Riverfront to the Statue of Unity (SardarSarovar), Agatti – Minicoy and Agatti – Kavaratti. Some of the few destinations that are recently been analysed for amphibious planes, that can take off from both land and water are Uttarakhand, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, regions of Northeast India, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andaman, Lakshadweep and some other coastal regions.
The UDAN scheme also approves concessions based financial incentives directly from the Centre, State governments and airport operators. These are extended to select airlines encouraging operations from both unserved and underserved airport, thus maintaining budget-friendly airfares. At subsidised fares, half of the passenger seats are being offered in UDAN flights. The participating careers offer a certain amount of Viability Gap Funding (VGF), which is a value shared between the concerning state and the Centre.
This seaplane operation is a big push for SpiceJet that will, in turn, revolutionise the regional connectivity of the country and provide a wide upliftment boosting both travel and tourism. On 31st October, the aircraft will depart from the Sabarmati Riverfront, Ahmedabad at 10:15 AM and will reach its destination, the Statue of Unity, Kevadia at 10:45 AM. SpiceJet has undoubtedly played a vital role in fulfilling our Prime Minister’s vision of bridging the remotest parts of India by air routes. This unprecedented connectivity is one of the most marvellous gifts under the UDAN scheme. The most enthusiastic participant in UDAN from the very beginning, which is also the only big private airline to participate in this operation in UDAN I is SpiceJet.
After constructing an internet of flights across the entire dimension of our country under UDAN, this innovative seaplane service SpiceJet will introduce a new fact strengthening the country’s connectivity on a regional basis. SpiceJet has assured safety, commitment and maintenance for the Twin Otter 300 aircraft which is much safer to fly and is considered as the most popular and widely used aircraft across the globe. Being both safe and versatile, Twin Otter 300 is furthered appreciated for its robust construction, incredible reliability, short take-off and landing capabilities astonishing external visibility and immense payload capacity. It has also received a valid Airworthy Review certificate (ARC) All the required SoPs to work with these flights are in accordance with operational guidance of seaplane operations.