SpiceJet said it plans to introduce 14-seater amphibians and is in discussions with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings for a purchase of such aircraft. These amphibians are likely based on the Quest Kodiak.   The news of this move should, we believe to be seen in context.   SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said, “With the ability to land in a small or confined space, smaller fixed-wing aircraft are the perfect flying machines that can effectively connect the country’s remote cities and airstrips which can, in turn, revolutionize the regional connectivity scheme.”

The context for the strategy that appears to be unfolding is that SpiceJet will develop a method to connect all India’s points to their network.  Part of this move has to include the recent order firming of the 50 Q400s (25 firm +25 purchase rights)  These Q400s will be 90-seaters.  SpiceJet’s Q400 order is the largest ever placed with Bombardier.  The order was originally announced in Paris in June.  At the time of the Paris announcement “I am pleased to confirm SpiceJet’s latest order for up to 50 Bombardier Q400 planes, which has been announced at the Paris Air Show. I am sure this fresh order will help us further enhance connectivity to smaller towns and cities and help realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring that every Indian can fly,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman, and Managing Director, SpiceJet.

At the time of the Paris announcement, Mr. Singh said “I am pleased to confirm SpiceJet’s latest order for up to 50 Bombardier Q400 planes, which has been announced at the Paris Air Show. I am sure this fresh order will help us further enhance connectivity to smaller towns and cities and help realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ensuring that every Indian can fly”.

The airline’s strategy looks to develop a fleet that will enable it to feed traffic from anywhere in India into its national and growing network.  With support from the State’s Regional Connectivity Scheme, SpiceJet is stealing a march on the competition.

There is a gap between the potential 14-seat Kodiak and the Q400.  One that is best filled by another Canadian solution called the Viking Twin Otter.  How long before Viking also gets a call? If not from SpiceJet, then from the other fast-growing Indian airlines.

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Addison Schonland
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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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