India's Mahindra Aerospace and Canada's Viking Air have signed a memorandum of understanding to partner to help boost India's regional air connectivity.
Both parties say the "strategic alliance [will] support and take advantage of India's growing regional air connectivity opportunities."
Under the partnership, Mahindra and Viking will support each other's non-competing aircraft business to boost market penetration in identified territories and provide potential customers with suitable aircraft for specific operational requirements.
Viking produces the Twin Otter series 400, a 19-seater, twin-engine utility turboprop aircraft that can also operate from water.
Mahindra produces two utility aircraft at its GippsAero unit in Australia, the single-engined GA8 and GA10. The GA8, which seats seven passengers, is powered by a single piston engine. The larger GA10 seats nine passengers, and is powered by a single Rolls-Royce M250 turboprop.
"India’s diverse market landscape offers numerous options for Viking and Mahindra to leverage their unique and complementary resources for a mutually beneficial collaboration to develop regional air transportation solutions."
“Viking sees enormous market potential for the Series 400 Twin Otter in India, with a particular emphasis on the seaplane variant as it provides an unmatched transportation solution for servicing India’s thousands of kilometers of coastline and river systems. We are confident that our alliance with Mahindra Group, such a well-established and well-regarded company, will provide the necessary traction the Series 400 deserves in India and will offer us new possibilities to collaborate in other territories as well,” says David Curtis, president and chief executive of Viking Air.
The announcement follows an earlier development from low-cost carrier SpiceJet that it concluded trials for possible services with the Quest Kodiak aircraft equipped as a seaplane.
SpiceJet is considering the operation of amphibious aircraft in the Northeastern regionssuch as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra, along with other coastal areas of the country.
According to Quest's website, the Kodiak can carry a maximum of 10 occupants including the pilot. It can take off with just 934ft of runway, and has a range of 1,132nm. It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A turboprop.