THE first seaplane service in Kerala is off to a flying start, with four more seaplane operators expected to launch such services by 4Q2013, connecting state cities to its extensive network of backwaters.
Kerala tourism minister, A P Anilkumar, said: “Seaplane services will allow tourists to travel from Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Mangalore to several points in the backwaters like Alleppey, Kollam, Allapuzha, Kasargode and Ernakulam. Water dromes with floating jetties (for seaplane landings), have been built.”
Tourists can now travel between destinations and access the destinations and hotels located along Kerala’s backwaters without relying on the state’s roads, which are patchy in places.
Air Travel Enterprises chairman, EM Najeeb, said the new means of transport would “up the quotient for higher-end tourist inflow and allow quicker and more scenic transfers”, and enhance Kerala’s image as a “special place to visit”.
Kerala Seaplane Services is one of four seaplane operators slated to begin service later this year. It plans to commence business on August 1, after the monsoon season, and offers three 10-seater and one four-seater planes for transport and charter rentals.
It also intends to sell packages for transfers, including a City Joyride package traversing Kochi-Trivandrum-Calicut-Alleppey, a 20-minute ride at Rs3,000 (US$53) per pax.