Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering two Do228s with Hindustan Aeronautics (Bangalore HAL), an Indian manufacturer which has been producing the Dornier turboprops under licence since 1983.

The regional unit of Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) hopes to shortly take delivery of the two aircraft and launch their commercial operations in March 2021. Alliance Air will use the Do228s to develop thinner regional routes where demand is insufficient for its Avions de Transport RĂ©gional turboprops under the government's RCS/UDAN subsidization scheme.

Alliance Air will become the Do228's first Indian commercial operator, as well as the first commercial operator of the wholly-Indian-built variant. The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that India's armed forces are prolific operators of the Do228: the Indian Air Force has 52 units while the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have 25 each.

An unnamed source at Hindustan Aeronautics told The Times of India that the manufacturer was working with Indian banks to develop domestic sale-and-leaseback schemes, which could entice more carriers to add Do228s. The manufacturer is also working on an amphibious variant to respond to nascent demand for seaplanes in India. The passenger variant was certified in India in 2018.

The commitment was signed during the ongoing Aero India 2021 trade show at the Yelahanka Air Force Base near Bangalore.

Alliance Air currently operates eighteen ATR72-600s and a single ATR42-300. It flies under its own code rather than exclusively on behalf of Air India. Unlike its parent, it has not been earmarked for privatisation.