SpiceJet to explore manufacturing of sea planes in Bengal

Kolkata, Jan 16 : Private airline SpiceJet would like to explore the possibility of manufacturing of sea planes in West Bengal as the state has potential for it, its chairman Ajay Singh said here on Tuesday.

The airline also committed and hopeful to start flights from the state's greenfield airport at Andal near Durgapur soon and will connect the state capital with Bangladesh's Chittagong and several destinations of Asean countries, he said while addressing the Bengal Global Business Summit here.

"We would like to see the sea planes are manufactured in India and the great destination of manufacturing of the sea planes would be West Bengal.

We will go to the government to see whether it is possible...," he said

He also said the airline had demonstrated the use of sea planes in the country and with the sea planes, the limitations of not having airports or air fields would not be there.

According to him, West Bengal is a state of rivers and lakes and for movement of sea planes, any river or lake can be used as an airport.

"There is potential here.

We like to put a hub of sea plane in West Bengal. Starting of these planes will give a major boost to tourism with popular tourist destinations like Gangasagar, Sunderbans," Singh said.

He said the carrier placed orders of almost 250 airplanes worth over Rs 150,000 crore and these planes will be delivered in the next four years staring from this August.

"We wish the West Bengal will become hub of many of these planes," he said, adding that the airline's operating flights in and out of the state will go up in the coming years.

SpiceJet, which operates flights from Kolkata to Bangkok and Dhaka, "will commence service from Kolkata to Chittagong soon and will be connecting Kolkata with China and several Asean countries within this year," he said.

"One of the big issues for the state has been the commencement of more and more flights from the greenfield airport at Durgapur.

We will connect Durgapur with Bengaluru and Hyderabad soon," Singh said.

He said the civil aviation sector is currently growing at about 20 per cent and there is a huge potential for the sector as only three per cent of India's population flies today.



Source: IANS