New Delhi: Indian budget airline, SpiceJet’s next sales pitch may turn out to be based on ‘No runway’ model. The airline desires to open up the third-biggest aviation market even more.
The plan will target the billion Indians who have been deprived of airline facilities. Precisely, it will aim either those who can’t afford flights or those living far from the functioning airport.
SpiceJet is in talks with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings Inc in order to buy about 100 amphibious Kodiak planes. Such planes can land anywhere including on water, open field or gravel. The SpiceJet’s deal worth $400 million, would help it to capitalize PM Modi’s ambitious plan to connect the nation by air.
Amid the talks, Hiroshima-based Setouchi may conduct a water landing demonstration in November.
Notably, most of the India’s dormant airports’s infrastructure including runways, terminals and maintainance sheds and control towers have suffered decades long negligence. SpiceJet’s amphibious strategy emerges here to curb such issue.
Amphibious Kodiak planes can seat either 10 or 14 people and is capable of taking off or landing on a 300-meter strip of water or land. Additionally it has a range of 1,000 kilometers (that’s about distance between Mumbai and Bengaluru).
Reportedly, the deal could be finalized in as soon as three months. The planes could allow SpiceJet to land at as many as 300 of country’s currently unused airports.
Last year, Indian airlines handled 100 million domestic passengers resulting in making it the third largest market after China and US. To direct the development, India will need a minimum of 2,100 new planes worth $290 billion in next two decades.