Pune-Nashik seaplane service to begin from June 15

In what will bring down the journey time between Pune and Nashik to 50 minutes, the private-run seaplane service connecting the two destinations will begin from June 15.

City-based private operator Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR) today said it will launch its regional air connectivity between the two places on Monday.

"There is a strong need for such a service between Pune and Nashik given the long and difficult road journey between these two places," MEHAIR's co-founder and director Siddharth Verma said in a statement.

Flights between these two centres--Lohagaon in Pune and HAL Airport in Nashik-are likely to reduce the travel time of people from up to seven hours down to barely 50 minutes, he said.

The services will be operated with a Cessna 208A amphibian aircraft, which is capable of both runway and water operations in the course of the same flight, he said.

The company has fixed a fare of Rs 5,999 for the service, which will be applicable till June 30. However, from July 1, the fares will increase to Rs 6,999. Passengers can book for the service online on its website www.mehair.in.

"Post launch, we will make full utilisation of the aircraft's amphibian capacity and offer the same flight between Pune airport and Gangapur Dam to reduce travel time for the passengers for whom Ozhar airport falls outside the main city," Verma said.

Over the weekends, he said, the aircraft will be used for offering short seaplane joy rides to people which will involve take off and landing from the waters of Gangapur Dam.

"We are also planning to launch similar service between Nashik and Mumbai post monsoon," Verma added. The company, which launched its first service in Andaman & Nicobar, started similar operations in Maharashtra from last September connecting Juhu Airport with the tourist destinations of Lonavala (Pavna Dam), Ambay Valley Lake and Meherabad/ Shirdi (Mula Dam).

A trial run was also conducted in Gangapur Dam (Nashik), Dhom Dam (Mahabaleshwar), Ganpatipule and Girgaum Chowpatty (Mumbai).

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