Now, seaplane serrvice to connect Mumbai with Shirdi and Meherabad

Pilgrim destinations in Maharashtra like Shirdi, Shani Shingnapur and Meherabad will be connected by a seaplane service from Sep 19, an official said Tuesday.

The daily return service between Juhu airport and Mula Dam will be operated by MEHAIR in collaboration with the Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

MEHAIR director Siddharth Verma said the first mainland seaplane service launched from Mumbai to Pawana Dam in Lonavala Aug 25 has received "a tremendous response from the fliers".

The new Mula Dam service will enable a large number of pilgrims to travel to the holy sites in just 45 minutes instead of the six-hour road journey, he said.

MEHAIR or Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt. Ltd. also plans to launch services soon to Gangapur Dam in Nashik and Dhom Dam near the hill station of Mahabaleshwar.

The company pioneered the amphibian services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands in January 2011 and launched services between Mumbai and Lonavala last month.

The seaplane services are operated with Cessna 208 (nine-seater) and Cessna 206 (four-seater) amphibian aircraft.

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