SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) will "likely" launch its long-touted seaplane operations in the state of Gujarat on October 31, 2020, the ANI newswire has reported.

Flights will operate between Ahmedabad, the state's largest city, and Kevadia, the site of the Statue of Unity, the world's largest statue, which commemorates one of modern India's founding fathers, Sandar Patel. Services on the 175-kilometre route are scheduled to run 4x daily. Aircraft will depart from the Sabarmati river in Ahmedabad and from the Narmada river in Kevadia. Ticket prices will be fixed at around INR4,800 rupees (USD65) one-way.

SpiceJet plans to deploy an unspecified 19-seater aircraft on the route. The airline did not respond to ch-aviation's request for further details about its seaplane fleet plans.

Earlier, the airline trialled Quest Aircraft Kodiak seaplanes in India, although the type only seats up to 9 passengers.

Seaplane services in Gujarat have long been an ambition of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who served as the Chief Minister of the state prior to taking national power. The Statue of Unity, completed in October 2018, is also his brainchild.

SpiceJet has long shown an interest in extending its operations to the seaplane market, which despite its size and geography, is practically non-existent. In mid-2019, Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh told ch-aviation that the airline was hoping to launch seaplane operations on government-subsidised routes under the UDAN scheme within the next 12 months.