Goa Tourism Launched Seaplane at Mandovi

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Image Courtesy Goa Tourism

The amphibian aircraft services will be owned and operated by MEHAIR Pvt. Ltd. with support from Goa Tourism and Govt. of Goa

Aircraft was successfully tested during a trial run at Mandovi today The fares and sectors will be finalized based on the demand for the services.

The Amphibian Seaplane inter-state connectivity as well as joy rides will be Attractively priced and affordable giving everyone a chance to try the all new experience

 Panjim, May 23, 2015– Goa Tourism witnessed the successful maiden test flight  of the Seaplane service today. The Seaplane landed in River Mandovi on Saturday morning amidst much  excitement and  fanfare.  The event, which marks the beginning of a milestone for Government of Goa, was presided by Shri. Dilip Parulekar, the Hon’ble  Minister of Tourism, Government  of Goa and Shri. Nilesh Cabral, MLA & Chairman – GTDC Ltd. Other  distinguished  guests  present  include Shri Siddharth Kunkolienkar. MLA & Chairman – EDC Ltd, Shri R. K. Srivastava, IAS, Chief Secretary, Govt. of  Goa, Shri. Ameya Abhyankar – Director of Tourism, Shri. Nikhil Desai – Managing Director GTDC,   Shri Shubham Chodankar – Mayor of the  Corporation of the  City of Panaji and  Board of Directors – GTDC Ltd.

Image Courtesy Goa Tourism
Image Courtesy Goa Tourism

The aircraft used for the trial run was a nine-seater Cessna  Amphibian which flew from Dabolim airport to Mandovi jetty. Goa Tourism had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Maritime Energy Heli AIR Services Pvt. Ltd. (MEHAIR) to launch Seaplane services in Goa in 2012. MEHAIR has identified several places to fly the seaplane; from Vasco to Dona Paula, to Coco beach (Nerul), Miramar, Chapora,  and Mandovi vide phase I of the project.

Maritime Energy Heli Air Services  Pvt. Ltd. (MEHAIR) are pioneers  in seaplane services  in India having successfully launched seaplane services since Jan’11 and are currently operating seaplanes  in Maharashtra.  Goa is the second State in the main land of India after Maharashtra  were Seaplanes  are  being launched.

Full-fledged operations of the Seaplanes in Goa will begin in the new  tourism season commencing  September 2015. The planes would be based at Dabolim airport, which is a part of Indian Navy`s INS Hansa base. The 9-seater Amphibian Seaplane will pick up passengers at Dabolim airport and fly them to the destination, for instance, Coco beach, in just seven minutes. The seaplane will land in the water close to a floating jetty onto which, the passengers will alight. Smaller boats will ferry the passengers to shore from where they can drive away. The cost of the services and the sectors to be operated in Goa will be decided after the trial run is complete.

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Hon’ble Tourism Minister Shri. Dilip Parulekar said,  at the launch, We are very happy to note the success of the Seaplane maiden test flight in Goa. The launch of these services will definitely boost tourism in the state. With this service, we are optimistic about attracting tourists who travel to enjoy unique experiences. The  Seaplanes will  offer joy rides at attractive and affordable pricing.  A seaplane operation anywhere always creates excitement and has a tendency to attract tourists by tapping into their curiosity and thrill seeking instincts. It is a novel concept in India which provides convenience of travel with the excitement of water takeoffs and landings. There is no investment by the Government for this service, it is all being owned and operated by Mehair. We are providing the necessary support to them to facilitate smooth operations.”

Image Courtesy Goa Tourism
Image Courtesy Goa Tourism

Siddharth Verma, CEO, MEHAIR, said, “We  are  happy to  in Goa which is easily the tourism capital of India and we thank the Goa  government for all the support  rendered. We are confident that  Seaplanes  will be  a huge attraction in Goa and  we assure that the services  will not cause  any  impact on the  marine eco-system or  affect  the  activities  conducted by the  Goan fishing community.”

Ameya Abhyankar, Director of Tourism said, “The Seaplane initiative is a great one for Goa and will give a big boost to Goa Tourism.  We assure that the fishing community will not be affected in any way.”

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