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.