The Gujarat government has invited tenders from national and international companies to relaunch India’s first scheduled seaplane service between Ahmedabad and Kevadia, according to Gujarat State Aviation Infrastructure Company (GUJSAIL) Director, Ajay Chauhan.

Indian media report that January 11, 2022, is the deadline for applications for the three-year contract under the government-subsidised UDAN regional connectivity scheme. Three carriers are reported to have already expressed interest, including a private firm from Gujarat as well as seaplane operator Mehair (Mumbai International), and Ventura AirConnect (Ahmedabad).

The Ahmedabad Mirror reports India’s Parliament has been informed that the previous operator, SpiceJet subsidiary SpiceShuttle (SG, Delhi International), has abandoned its plan to revive the service, which it had suspended in April 2021 on operational grounds.

The airline was not immediately available for comment.

As reported, SpiceShuttle began commercial seaplane operations on October 31, 2020, but the venture was short-lived because its single DHC-6-300 amphibian, 8Q-ISC (msn 321), wet-leased from Maldivian (Q2, Malé) had to be sent for mandatory maintenance with its lessor in the Maldives due to a lack of wet and dry dock facilities in Ahmedabad. According to flight-tracking sites, the aircraft is still grounded at Malé.