Alliance Air, India’s regional carrier owned by the Government of India, which exclusively operates turboprop aircraft across India in a marketing tie-up with Air India, recently inducted the first made-in-India Dornier 228 planes to facilitate connectivity within the north-eastern states of India.
Government-run Alliance Air had in February 2022, signed an agreement with government-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to lease two 17-seater Dornier 228 aircraft. The first of these was delivered to the airline on April 7. The aircraft was displayed at Wings India 2022 recently, where AirInsight got a close look at it.
In 1981, HAL acquired the production license for the aircraft from the manufacturers and assembled over 120 of these at its Indian facility for civilian and military purposes. Since 2009, Swiss aerospace engineering and defense company RUAG has been manufacturing the upgraded Do-228 New Generation (NG), with the fuselage, wings, and tail being sourced from HAL.
Alliance Air’s made-in-India Dornier 228 aircraft was deployed for its first commercial flight on the Dibrugarh-Pasighat route on Tuesday with ministers of the Government of India on board.
The 17-seater non-pressurized Dornier 228 has an AC cabin, capable of day and night operations. The German aircraft was earlier deployed by the defunct regional carrier, Vayudoot which had ten Do-228 aircraft in its fleet, with the first being inducted in its fleet in 1985. The Do-228 has been used extensively by the Indian armed forces as well.
Regular flight operations using the Do-228 become operational twice a week from April 18, 2022. The services will be operated by Alliance Air under the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN.
Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe.
How can it be the first made in India aircraft when it has been manufactured at HAL facility since 1983, under license from the parent company? Another aircraft to be similarly assembled by HAL since 1961 was HS 748 or Avro.