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Seaplane operations to be launched in Kochi from January 2013

Initially, a Cessna 208 will connect Kochi with lakes and tourist spots in Kumarakom and Munnar; Plans to launch another service in Thiruvananthapuram within the two or three months

   Tuesday 20-Nov-2012  | Bangalore

Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR) will launch its seaplane operations in Kochi from January 2013

Initially, a Cessna 208 will connect Kochi with lakes and tourist spots in Kumarakom and Munnar. "It is an amphibian plane which could take off from an airport and land in a lake and vice versa," saidSiddharth Verma, chief executive officer of the Mumbai-based seaplane services firm.

According to him, Kerala's topography is ideal for seaplane service. "The elongated coastline and two big lakes in central Kerala with major tourist spots like Kumarakom, Thekkady or Munnar surrounding them help easy connectivity. Even Kochi city has its own water body," he noted. "Kerala has a very organized tourism sector, and you have a fair share of high-end tourists coming here. To them, time is valuable. They would prefer a 30-minute Kochi-Kumarakom trip to a road trip which takes half a day. Local economies are also going to benefit from this," Verma noted.

Explaining his plan, Verma said, "If the response is good, we will launch another one in Thiruvananthapuram within the two or three months. We can even introduce 19-seater 'twin otter' seaplanes in Kerala if market is positive."

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