The central government’s plan to include amphibian planes under much touted Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) has now made a Mumbai-based aviation company rethink its business strategy.
Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd ( Mehair), which till now was struggling to run its amphibian plane operations smoothly due to bureaucratic hurdles and poor demand, has now decided to get into regional air connectivity operations in order to crossfeed its amphibian plane service business. Mehair that earlier offered connectivity in Maharastra and Andaman and Nicobar is said to be inducting 10 twin-engine aircraft for connecting the Tier II and III geographies with the metros.
After receiving the request for inclusion from a few players, civil aviation ministry has even begun conducting mandatory tests for granting licences to construct water aerodromes in Maharashtra, north-eastern states and other places. Under RCS, the carrier operator is mandated to fly a certain number of seats at price under Rs 2,500 for which they get compensated from the government.
“As part of its new business initiative, Mehair is inducting 19-seater, twin-engine aircraft for connecting the tier-II and tier-III geographies with the metros through its own initiative,” it announced on its website.
Siddharth Verma , director, Mehair, refused to comment when contacted.
The development comes weeks after the leading low-cost carrier SpiceJet announced signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings to fly amphibian planes in the country starting with north-eastern states, which though poorly connected, has tremendous scope for growth on account of tourism and industries.