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After UDAN Air Travel Scheme, Air Deccan's Captain Gopinath Eyes Seaplane Sector

Air Deccan, which pioneered low-cost air travel in India and portrays cartoonist RK Laxman's common man for its promotion, would operate 19-seater Beechcraft 1900D aircraft under this regional connectivity scheme.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:February 5, 2018, 5:00 PM IST
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After UDAN Air Travel Scheme, Air Deccan's Captain Gopinath Eyes Seaplane Sector
File photo of Air Deccan founder Captain GR Gopinath. (Photo: Reuters)
Kolkata: It's a comeback bid for Air Deccan. And the airline has chosen the small towns of the country's east and north eastern sector to launch its air travel services under the Centre's UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) regional connectivity scheme.

Speaking to News18, founder of Air Deccan Captain Gopinath, said: "As per our plan, Kolkata - Cooch Behar, Kolkata - Durgapur, Jamshedpur- Shillong and entire North East should happen in the first week of February. The other regional towns which will be connected under UDAN scheme are Kullu-Shimla and Ludhiana-Pantnagar."


"A large part of India is unconnected by air and I feel that for equitable growth it is very important to connect smaller cities. There is a huge demand and therefore we are very keen making the UDAN scheme a big success. In the coming few months we are planning to connect more than 50 regional towns, including a good number of cities in the North Eastern sector,” he added.

The airline, which pioneered low-cost air travel in India and portrays cartoonist RK Laxman's common man for its promotion, would operate 19-seater Beechcraft 1900D aircraft under this regional connectivity scheme, it was learnt.


And it was under this very UDAN scheme that Captain Gopinath revealed his intentions to venture into commercial seaplane operations as well.

"As far as the seaplane sector is concerned, the central government is finalising policies and making changes in regulations for UDAN. When that happens and bids are invited, we will surely pitch for that too," he informed.


Air Deccan's plans for sea-plane connectivity, interestingly, coincide with another leading private low cost carrier, Spicejet's plans to explore the possibility of manufacturing sea-planes in Bengal. During his speech at the Bengal Global Business Summit in Kolkata in January, Spicejet chairman Ajay Singh said there was potential for making West Bengal a hub for sea-planes which can fly to Gangasagar, Sunderbans and other riverine and coastal tourist and business spots of the state.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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