First commercial seaplane operations to start Aug 25

First commercial seaplane operations to start Aug 25

Transportation service provider Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Thursday said the first commercial flight of its seaplane service will be operated from Mumbai to Pawana dam (Lonavala) from Aug 25.

"It gives me great pleasure that the first seaplane service in the mainland of India is taking off from Mumbai. It is the first step towards covering India with a seaplane network over the next 3-5 years," said Siddharth Verma, co-founder and director, Maritime Energy Heli Air Services.

"The service will become a vital cog in the tourism initiative of the state and both tourists as well as pilgrims will benefit from it given that it is connecting tourist as well as religious centres."

The company plans to run the seaplane service in collaboration with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC). The seaplane service is being launched with a Cessna 208 amphibian aircraft that has a capacity to seat nine passengers and Cessna 206 amphibian that can accommodate four passenger excluding cockpit and cabin crew.

"These services will boost tourism greatly. Seaplanes will turn vacation destinations into weekend destinations. The fatigue involved in reaching these destinations will also come down drastically," Jagdish Patil, managing director, MTDC said.

According to company, it plans to connect Mumbai with multiple state tourist destinations adjacent to four suitable water bodies even though there are no runways at these destinations.

The fare for the first commercial flight that is scheduled to take off on Aug 25 is pegged at Rs.2,999 per person one way.

The company pioneered the launch of seaplanes services in India three years back in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in January, 2011.

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