India’s Flybig has signed a Letter of Intent for ten De Havilland Canada Twin Otters. The LoI was announced at Wings India 2022 on March 24.
Flybig is a regional airline that launched in December 2020 and is focused on connecting tier-2 destinations within India. The airline had been operating with one ATR turboprop aircraft, and in March 2022, added a couple of more ATR aircraft via a leasing transaction. All of these aircraft serve regional routes around India.
Flybig focuses on using the Government of India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme to open undeveloped routes in India, which comes with exclusivity for the route for a period of three years and funding from the government of India as well.
De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited announced that Big Charter Private Limited, the promoter of Flybig, signed a Letter of Intent to purchase up to ten new Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft. The definitive purchase agreement, to be signed soon, would include five firm-ordered aircraft and options for another five.
On this occasion, Captain Sanjay Mandavia, Chairman and Managing Director, flybig, said:
“In conjunction with the UDAN initiative, the Indian Government’s recently released policy to assist in serving small and remote communities, flybig’s goal is to provide connectivity to communities that were not previously accessible by air. De Havilland Canada’s Twin Otter Series 400 is the right aircraft for our operations because of its proven record for safe, reliable operations and its versatility – including the capability to land on land or water.”
Philippe Poutissou, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, De Havilland Canada, said:
“We are very excited to be working with flybig to connect underserved destinations that currently rely on inconvenient and inefficient modes of transportation. It is always a source of pride when De Havilland Canada aircraft are selected by a new operator and we welcome this opportunity to work with flybig to increase connectivity across India.”
While this is still a Letter of Intent, a firm order still needs to be signed, after which we will know when will these aircraft be delivered to flybig. 19-seater aircraft are used to serve on very thin routes, and recently the only one used was by Air Deccan in its second coming, using the Beechcraft 1900D. In the coming days Dornier 228, now being manufactured in India by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, will be inducted in the fleet of Alliance Air, a turboprop operator owned by the Government of India.
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.