Indian regional carrier Flybig has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase up to ten new De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Twin Otter 400 Series aircraft for small and remote destinations.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada says in a statement Indian company Big Charter, which is linked to Flybig, has signed a LOI to buy ten Twin Otter 400 Series for Flybig.

Both parties will work towards a definitive purchase agreement, which will be a firm order for five aircraft with options for another five, the aircraft manufacturer says.

Flybig chairman and managing director, Sanjay Mandavia, says: “The Indian government has recently released [a] policy to assist in serving small and remote communities, in conjunction with the UDAN Regional Connectivity Scheme. Flybig’s goal is to provide connectivity to communities that were previously inaccessible by air.”

Mandavia says the Twin Otter 400 Series is the right aircraft for Flybig’s operations because of its proven record for safe and reliable operations, its versatility and ability to land on land and water.

De Havilland Aircraft of Canada sales and marketing vice president, Philippe Poutissou, says the company is excited to work with Flybig to connect underserved destinations that currently rely on inconvenient and inefficient modes of transportation, and to increase connectivity across India.

Mandavia told Smart Aviation Asia Pacific earlier this month the airline plans to add up to 36 more aircraft to its fleet, as domestic demand for travel remains strong, with huge potential coming from the country’s remote regions.

Flybig’s fleet consists of one ATR 72-500 and two ATR 72-600s.

Mandavia told Smart Aviation Asia Pacific last August it was still in discussions with Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) about adding HAL-built Dornier 228s to the fleet. He said 19-seat aircraft are useful for serving smaller destinations in northeast India with airstrips where the ATR is unable to land. 

Alliance Air Receives Dornier 228

Meanwhile, photos have been circulating online showing a Dornier 228, local registration VT-KNP, in the livery of state-owned Indian regional carrier Alliance Air.

Information from shows VT-KNP was previously Hindustan Aeronautics’ (HAL) Dornier 228 demonstration aircraft. 

Alliance Air signed a MOU with state-owned aircraft maker HAL last September to lease two HAL-built Dornier 228s.

The airline said at the time it planned to use the aircraft to serve remote airports in northeast India’s Arunachal Pradesh province under the government’s UDAN-Regional Connectivity Scheme.

Dornier 228 decked in Alliance Air’s livery. (Patliputra Air Charter Linkedin)

Featured photo shows De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Sales, Asia Pacific director Yogesh Garg (third from left) and Flybig chairman and managing director, Sanjay Mandavia (fourth from left) at Wings India. (Source: Yogesh Garg Linkedin)

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