It is Amphibian. It can take off and land on water and as well as on land!
This is Sea Plane that has seen it’s first ever operation in India – in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Sea Plane is unique in the sense that it takes you on ride just above the water while you enjoy the view of enormous sea all around you. If you visit Andaman and Nicobar Islands you have two modes of transportation within the Islands – helicopter and boat (ship, ferry or cruise). The helicopter service is run in conjunction with PawanHans while boat rides are taken care of by government and private operators. But to add to the excitement and adventure, PawanHans along with Andaman and Nicobar Administration launched Sea Plane service last year which is fully operational right now. The service connects Port Blair with Havelock Island, Barren Island and Diglipur (North and Middle Andaman). Though a Helicopter ride also greatly gives you the same joy of traveling in the air above the sea but sea plane certainly gives you a better view and more comfortable ride.
Another great advantage a seaplane has over a helicopter is that inside a helicopter we constantly hear the sound of the engine but seaplane is much more quieter from inside.
Besides the obvious difference that helicopter doesn’t land on water and it simply lifts itself up from the ground, seaplane lets you feel the wonderful and unique experience of running fast on the water consequently making way up into the air!
The seaplane is compact in design and has a seating capacity of 9 passengers. The seaplane crew consists of just one pilot who flies the plane. It is Cessna Caravan 208 Amphibian model and is the largest of all the four sea planes made by Cessna Aviation Limited. The plane can fly at a speed of around 300km/hr.
Passengers who have flown in seaplane describe the journey as wonderful and exciting. They seem to enjoy the process of de-boarding where the seaplane lands on the water and the passengers get down from the seaplane onto a wooden pontoon (it keeps floating on the sea). From there they are taken to the shore on a Gemini boat or a Dungi.
Gemini Boat (Above), Local Carrier Dungi (Below)
Currently, the seaplane runs in full capacity on the route of Port Blair and Havelock and the no. of passengers is gradually increasing on other sectors as well.
Pilot getting off the plane
While flying above Barren Island, it lets the passengers see the only active fire Volcano of India. (My post on Barren Island will appear soon). Last but not the least, the tourists in Andaman and Nicobar Islands can enjoy the Helicopter and Seaplane rides on subsidized rates. Helicopter fares get a subsidy of 70% for tourists and seaplane ticket fares are available at half of the original fare (the fare may soon be increased) .
To check the latest schedule and fare of seaplane, click here.
Welcome to Andamans.. experience India’s only SeaPlane.