Mehair will link Juhu with Aamby Valley, Nashik, Lonavla, Lavasa & Panchgani

Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (Mehair), a non-scheduled air services provider, in association with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), launched on Monday a unique seaplane service — the first of its kind in mainland India — linking Mumbai’s Juhu airport with tourist destinations of the State.

To begin with, this amphibious plane service will connect Aamby Valley, 120 km from Mumbai.

In the first phase, Mehair has plans to link five destinations with Juhu, which include Aamby Valley, Nashik, Lonavla, Lavasa and Panchgani, all around 30 minutes flying distance from Mumbai.

The air charter service also has plans to operate flights to Nariman Point and its planes will land in the sea at Girguam Chawpatty ferrying passengers. A ride will cost Rs. 750.

Inaugural prices

“The date for Nariman Point service has not been finalised as we are awaiting some approvals. In the inaugural offer, tickets to Nariman Point will cost Rs. 750 while tickets to other destinations will be priced around Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 4500. Prices will fall as we get more passengers,” said Siddharth Verma, Director & Co-founder, Mehair.

He said bookings would open from March 10 and they could be done online.

In the second phase, the company has plans to link five more destinations in Maharashtra. In April, the company will take delivery of a nine-seater seaplane to add to the existing four-seater Cessna 206 amphibian aircraft.

“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 which are popular tourist destinations,” Mr. Verma added.

The company has been operating a seaplane service in Andaman & Nicobar Islands since January 2011.

It has plans to induct 25 seaplanes in five years linking destinations in Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Karnataka and Gujarat, he added. A seaplane service in Kerala had to shut down last year due to protests by fishermen.