One of India’s most budget-friendly airlines, SpiceJet will start seaplanes service from Saturday, in a bid to incite some excitement and lure people into traveling with marginal airfares.
Ever since the pandemic was declared by WHO in March, India’s airlines, like everywhere else in the world’ faced severe setbacks from travel restrictions.
SpiceJet’s move is a bid to push travel at a time when not only people are uncertain to take flights, but government regulations also barring the regular functioning of airlines.
One-way fare is being estimated to start from Rs.1500 for one-way, under the company’s subsidiary Spice Shuttle scheme and the government’s UDAN scheme.
As per a Tweeter tweet, after Saturday’s first flights, full-fledged service is expected to begin from October 31st, 2020.
The Indian ministry of aviation has approved 18 routes where the 19-seater — including crew and staff — seaplanes made by a British former British plane maker de Havilland will serve passengers. Now de Havilland is owned by Canada-based Viking Air, the BBC reports.
The service will begin from Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly present in the first run from Ahmedabad’s Sabarmati riverfront to Kevadia on Saturday in Gujrat’s Narmada district.
Saturday will be the 145th anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel’s birth.
Kevadia is where the famous ‘Statue of Unity’ is located which is twice the size of the Statue of Liberty and is a memorial of Indian Independence-movement leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Like many other airlines around the world, this effort by SpiceJet is a venture to ensure the company stays afloat at a time when record layoffs have hit the aviation industry.
From flights to nowhere to meal delivery planes and the other mainstream cargo services, the aviation sector can be seen struggling to maintain at operational levels.
SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh says seaplanes would enhance the internal connectivity without the need for elaborate infrastructure needed for regular flights. These planes are capable of taking off from both land and water and at lesser space.
SpiceJet started conducting seaplane trials in 2017, and the airline has repatriated over 1 million Indians stranded around the world after nations went into lockdown following the Pandemic.