Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Lack of infrastructure: SpiceJet unable to use seaplanes for Andaman and Nicobar routes

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet on December 28 expressed its inability to use amphibian planes for Andaman and Nicobar routes, sources told CNBC-TV18.

The airline, led by CMD Ajay Singh, has requested the Airport Authority of India to set up the infrastructure for water-to-water flight operations. The AAI, which has planned for a water aerodrome at Port Blair, has not set up the infrastructure for the purpose as of yet.

To set up a water aerodrome, approvals from various authorities, including the ministries of defence, home, environment and forests, and shipping are required. The water aerodrome licence would be valid for two years.

The rule says that a formal application has to be submitted at least 90 days before the date of intended operations. Apart from this, the water aerodrome cannot be used for scheduled air transport services unless there is a licence.

In October 2019, SpiceJet had laid out plans to purchase over 100 amphibian planes that were estimated to cost $400 million. Following this, the budget carrier also inked an agreement with the Japanese seaplane manufacturer, Setouchi Holdings. Also, the firm approached the Odisha government evincing interest to operate amphibian planes from the Chilika Lake.

28/12/20 Moneycontrol.com

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