October 4, 2017: SpiceJet has stated that it is working closely with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings to explore opportunities for small ten and fourteen seater amphibious plane operations to provide air connectivity to the remotest parts of the country.
The introduction of smaller fixed wing aircraft could provide air connectivity to places which have hitherto remained unconnected due to infrastructural challenges. Amphibious planes have the ability to take off and land from places that do not have landing strips and where no runway exists, thus reaching areas where there is no other mode of transport available. Reliable, tough and resilient these smaller fixed wing aircraft can land on water bodies, gravel and grass.
Demo flights of the aircraft have been held in Nagpur and Guwahati.
Japan’s Setouchi Holdings, 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 specialized amphibious and non-amphibious range of aircraft globally. The airline said in a press release that the initiative reiterates SpiceJet’s commitment for the Regional Connectivity Scheme.
On the occasion, Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet said, “Even while we are acknowledged as one of the world’s fastest growing markets, the ground reality remains that only about 3 percent Indians travel by air. Infrastructural challenges have been a key deterrent for providing air connectivity to smaller towns and cities. We are extremely delighted to join hands with Setouchi Holdings and look forward to exploring new opportunities that will help us serve our country better.”
“SpiceJet has been a big supporter of the government’s UDAN scheme from the very beginning. With the ability to land in a small or confined space, smaller fixed wing aircrafts are the perfect flying machines that can effectively connect the country’s remote cities and airstrips which can in turn revolutionise the regional connectivity scheme,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Go Okazaki, executive managing director, Setouchi Holdings said, “We are delighted to associate with SpiceJet for exploring opportunities in the field of aviation. We are happy to introduce Kodiak which will support this objective. Under this association, we have already executed land plane demonstrations in Nagpur and Guwahati. As a next step, we would also like to go for seaplane demonstration soon.”
There are about 200 Kodiak Quest aircraft flying all over the world for the past 10 years.
Picture: This is a CESSNA AMPHIBIAN plane