Tuesday, August 02, 2022

India's Mehair granted Gujarat seaplane contract

Mehair has been awarded a contract by the Indian state of Gujarat to relaunch seaplane services between Ahmedabad and Ekta Nagar (previously known as Kevadia), close to the Statue of Unity tourism attraction, using a nine-seater Cessna (single turboprop) 208B Grand Caravan amphibian.

The service was previously operated by SpiceJet subsidiary SpiceShuttle, which suspended the route on April 10, 2021, on the back of financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now the Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company Limited (GUJSAIL) has awarded the tender to Mehair, which is in the final stages of importing a pre-owned Cessna Grand Caravan 208 amphibian from the United States. The aircraft is expected to arrive by mid-August to begin proving flights, according to GUJSAIL Director for Civil Aviation and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Chauhan.

"The letter of operations has been handed out to Mehair, and they were given 120 days to procure the aircraft from the US. They are currently in the last phase of the procedure for procurement of a pre-owned Cessna Grand Caravan. Since new amphibious aircraft are not manufactured in big numbers, we have approved the procurement of a pre-owned aircraft. We are expecting it to arrive in Gujarat by mid-August, following which, the formalities for the registration, technical acceptance, and flying tests by the DGCA will begin."

Mehair was not immediately available for comment.

India's longest-standing seaplane operator, Mehair will operate the aircraft under the Gujarat government's Viability Gap Funding (VGF) scheme instead of the RCS-UDAN scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which had launched the service through SpiceJet in 2020, reports The Sunday Express newspaper.

Officials confirmed that Mehair will operate two daily flights between the Sabarmati Riverfront and Dyke Three of Sardar Sarovar Dam, located near the Statue of Unity.

02/08/22 ch-aviation

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