Mumbai, 24th February, 2014: The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR) launched the first seaplane service of Maharashtra in Mumbai today. The company’s amphibian planes will eventually connect Mumbai with state tourist destinations adjacent to suitable water bodies even though there are no runways at these destinations.
The service will save a lot of travel time for the users given that the aircraft will take a far lesser time to connect two points as opposed to road or rail journeys. MTDC has entered into an understanding with MEHAIR to launch the service in the state by extending its full support thus helping to engulf the vast vision and encumbrance of this venture. The service was launched by Hon'ble Minister (Tourism and Public Works), Government of Maharashtra Shri Chhagan Chandrakant Bhujbal. Function presided by Shri Ranjit Kamble Hon’ble Minister of State (Tourism & Public Works), Government of Maharashtra. In the presence of Mr Sumit Mullick - IAS, Additional Chief Secretary & Chief Protocol Officer Government of Maharashtra, Dr Jagdish Patil - IAS Managing Director MTDC, Mr Satish Soni - Director (Tourism), Government of Maharashtra, Mr. Siddharth Verma – Director & Co-Founder MEHAIR and Mr. Vivek Kumar, Executive Director Worker, Sahara India Pariwar and Chief Executive Officer Ambay Valley City and Hotel Sahara Star.
MEHAIR pioneered the launch of seaplanes in India three years back and its maiden service has been operational in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands since Jan, 2011. With the launch of the service in Maharashtra, the company has ushered in an exciting mode of transport to be enjoyed and availed by tourists & locals for a leisure experience as well as point-to-point connectivity.
Hon'ble Minister (Tourism and Public Works), Government of Maharashtra Shri Chhagan Chandrakant Bhujbal, stated, “Government of Maharashtra is pleased to announce the launch of seaplane services for commuters in Maharashtra. These services will provide ease to the tourist and locals who travel to various tourist destinations of Maharashtra. Mehair has come-up with this novel concept and we are happy that Maharashtra is the first state to have such a service in the mainland of India.”
Shri Ranjit Kamble, Hon’ble Minister of State (Tourism & Public Works), Government of Maharashtra stated, “It is a proud feeling for me as it a gift from the Tourism Department of Maharashtra to the people of the state. We expect that this exciting mode of transport will be well received in Maharashtra.”
Mr Sumit Mullick, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary & Chief Protocol Officer, Government of Maharashtra said, “Situated in India, Maharashtra is a diverse landscape ideally suited to be connected by a seaplane service thus benefiting the tourists who come to Maharashtra from all over the world.”
Shri Jagdish Patil, Managing Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), said, "These services will boost tourism greatly. Seaplanes will turn vacation destinations into weekend destinations. The fatigue and expenditure involved in reaching these destinations will also come down drastically."
Mr Satish Soni - Director Tourism Government of Maharashtra, adds, “We welcome the launch of seaplanes in Maharashtra as it will add a new dimension to the tourism potential of the state. It would be a more scenic and faster travel option.”
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Vivek Kumar, Executive Director Worker Sahara India Pariwar and Chief Executive Officer Ambay Valley City and Hotel Sahara Star said, “Seaplane services will add to the attraction of the Ambay Valley and will cater to the tourists, residents and property owners within Ambay Valley by offering a quick and exciting mode of transport from Mumbai. MEHAIR plans to soon have a full-fledged commuter service from Juhu to Nariman Point which is the star attraction and is much awaited by the people jostling with the heavy traffic of Mumbai.” The first commercial flight will be flagged off to the tourist destination of Ambay Valley which is the first approved seaplane waterdrome in the mainland of India.
The seaplane service is being launched in Maharashtra with a Cessna 206 Amphibian and another Cessna 208 Amphibian aircraft will be inducted by Apr’14. Both these two models can accommodate 4 to 9 passengers respectively. "This is a new and exciting mode of transport which will provide the last mile connectivity to those areas where there is no airport but are popular tourist destinations. A seaplane is a quick, convenient and exciting mode of travel which will lend impetus to the tourism initiative of the Government of Maharashtra. This venture was only possible with the tremendous support from the MTDC” Mr. Siddharth Verma – Director & Co-Founder MEHAIR said.
In the first phase of its operations in Maharashtra, MEHAIR will gradually roll out its service to destinations like Ambay Valley lake, Gangapur Dam (Nashik), Mula Dam (Meherabad/Shirdi), Pawna Dam (Lonavla), Varasgaon Dam (Lavasa) and Dhoom Dam (Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar). In the second phase of the operation MEHAIR will connect Mumbai with Konkan coast like Ganpatiphule, Harihareshwar, Tarkarli and Murud Janjira. This will be followed by flights from Mumbai to Marathwada and ecologically rich sector like Vidarbha.
Fliers can book seats on these exciting sectors exclusively on the official website of the company i.e. http://www.mehair.in/ with effect from 10th March 2014.