Vishal Mistry, Rajpipla: The newly inaugurated seaplane, which was to ferry passengers from Ahmedabad to Kevadia near the Statue Of Unity, will not be available for some days.
The seaplane service was inaugurated on October 31, 2020, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The seaplane has been sent back to Maldives for maintenance, within a month of the service being inaugurated. As a result, the service will not be available for some time. The 19-seater plane is 50 years old.
The seaplane was flown from the Maldives to Kochi and Goa before reaching Kevadia. Sources in the know said it will be another fortnight before a new seaplane arrives and for the service to resume.
About the seaplane
The 19-seater seaplane (Twin Otter 300 seaplane) was leased by Spicejet and was to improve connectivity and cut down the travel time between Kevadia and Ahmedabad.
Travel by road takes about four hours between the two destinations. The seaplane helped cut it two for about an hour. The company planned to run four round-trips of the seaplanes in a day and the tickets were initially priced at Rs 4800 per passenger.
Later the Gujarat government announced a drop in ticket fare for the seaplane to Kevadia. The announcement came after many pointed out the fact that the ticket prices were very steep and likely to be beyond the reach of many.
The fare for the seaplane was reduced to Rs1500 for a one-way ticket from the earlier Rs4800. The state hoped to attract more visitors to use the service with the reduced fare.
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