Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Have you heard about the term Seaplane? Can you guess what a seaplane would be like? A boat or an airplane or a boat flying in air? Confused right? Let’s see what a seaplane is exactly!
Yes you might have seen this seaplane in Maldives. Seaplanes are basically aircrafts that are usually small in size. These aircrafts have floats or skis instead of wheels. These air carriers perform their landing and takeoffs on a water body like sea, river, lake etc. Many countries and islands are already using this service to add connectivity and boost tourism.
Did you know you can now experience this in India as well? Yes it’s possible now. India has launched its first seaplane in the state of Gujarat.
Spice Jet commences seaplane services which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday i.e. 31st October, the birth anniversary of the Iron man of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and is now available for the tourists to experience. This service is started from Kevadia in Narmada district which is the home to the world's tallest statue- Statue of Unity to Ahmedabad near Sabarmati Riverfront. Usually it used to take 2 hours or so by road or by train but now one can now reach from Statue of Unity to Sabarmati River Front in just 30 minutes.
Gujarat Tourism has already been increasing due to the tallest statue in the world and now with the seaplane coming, Regional Tourism is going to boost even more. Bookings for this service is made online http://www.spiceshuttle.com and one can book a ticket offline too at the ticket window at the waterdrome in Ahmedabad.
Now you might wonder that this experience would cost us a hefty amount, but on the contrary its very reasonable. Travellers can book the one way ticket for as low as 1500/-. The rates are decided by RCS-UDAN and only certain seats are for 1500/-. Others might cost you up to 4800/- one way. But still reasonable right!
The seaplane wont be high enough so you can get amazing views of the ocean and also the surrounding of the Statue of Unity. Well initially there were many issues as birds might get affected as planes are running so close to sea level. Hence seaplanes are taking a longer route to avoid the contact of birds and also many bird diverters are installed.
One the first day itself the response of travellers was overwhelming, over 3000 people booked to travel from Statue of Unity to Sabarmati Riverfront. The seaplane can accommodate up to 15 passengers, 2 pilots and 1 flight attendant. Once this seaplane is successful in India, it might increase the seaplanes to serve better and also might increase the connection to various tourist spots.
There are many future plans of Spice Jet to increase the seaplanes SpiceJet also plans to introduce seaplane services between Port Blair and Havelock in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Delhi to Naini lake, Kaziranga in Assam, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Tehri Dam. Similarly other operations are also planned in Srinagar, Ladakh, Udaipur, Sunderbans in West Bengal and backwaters of Kerala.
Also Read: Rajmachi Trek