Payerne, Switzerland: Mumbai based Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt Ltd (MEHAIR), the pioneers of seaplane services in India since 2011 has signed an order for fifty, electrically powered regional amphibious aircraft PHA-ZE 100 with Switzerland based Jekta.
MEHAIR has inked a deal with deposits agreed for ten firm orders and options for 40 more. With this agreement, MEHAIR will be the first customer to receive the aircraft in Asia, with initial deliveries starting in 2029. It is anticipated that the first ten aircraft will be delivered in baseline configuration for 19 passengers to support regional connectivity. The company has made a decisive move In line with the global trends to move toward sustainable aviation by placing orders for Jekta’s electrically powered aircraft.
“We know the Jekta team’s heritage for producing efficient amphibious aircraft, and having been introduced to its electrically powered PHA-ZE 100, we made a decisive move to acquire these aircraft early, showing our deep commitment towards greener technology. We want to be one of the first operators in the world to update its fleet with a zero emissions aircraft to support regional flights between land and water infrastructure,” says Siddharth Verma, Director of MEHAIR.
“Blessed with a 7,400 km long coastline and a rich diversity of rivers, lakes, backwaters and dams, India is readying for the upcoming amphibious aircraft revolution. It is both the fastest-growing aviation market as well as the single largest untapped seaplane geography in the world, and the PHA-ZE 100 checks all the boxes for meeting this upcoming seaplane potential. The next 25 years will be as much a seaplane era as it will be for general aviation in India,” said Siddharth Verma.
“ The PHA-ZE 100 has enhanced operating parameters, which lend strong value to our proposed operations and vision for the next ten years. More importantly, it will offer unsurpassed comfort and safety to our customers in a smart, sustainable manner as India moves towards enhanced ‘last mile connectivity.’ We are confident that affordable amphibious aircraft is the way to go and in time to come will transform the way India travels,” he added.
MEHAIR has successfully operated seaplane services in India across geographies helping populations travel seamlessly between cities and destinations virtually inaccessible by land infrastructure. MEHAIR has served destinations across the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and destinations across Maharashtra. The company is rescheduling its services in India, starting with Andaman & Nicobar and Goa in 2023 under the Govt of India’s highly successful UDAN Scheme. MEHAIR believes the 19-seat PHA-ZE 100 will come for deliveries at the ideal time to address the market’s demand in 2029. The Jekta PHA-ZE 100 design meets the operating requirements at much lower costs than existing seaplanes.
“MEHAIR’s proposed operations and future vision exemplify the potential of our airframe to align with the needs of a growing population seeking to travel regionally, whether from water or land. We aim to drastically reduce per-passenger-per-hour flight costs compared with existing seaplanes. We are exploring the options for redefining single pilot operations in the commercial sector, and we are committed to attracting a new workforce into aviation,” says George Alafinov, CEO of Jekta Switzerland. “We know that the Indian government has defined multiple water routes across India and is launching many more, nearing 100 seaplane routes. Demand for regional, sustainable air travel is set to grow exponentially worldwide, and India is at the forefront of this potential. We are delighted to work with MEHAIR to cater to this new and exciting market’s dynamic demands.”
The PHA-ZE 100 flying boat will be certified to EASA CS-23 and US FAA FAR-23 standards for fixed-wing passenger aircraft. It is optimized to serve coastal and island communities, regional routes currently limited by operational costs, and to support new low-cost, sustainable services between cities without the need to install expensive land infrastructure. Flexible configurations, including 19-seat, mixed economy/freight, VIP, and ambulance options, make the most of the PHA-ZE 100’s spacious, stand-up cabin. Low maintenance and fuel costs, much-reduced noise, no pollution impact, and minimal aviation infrastructure requirements combine to make the PHA-ZE 100 an optimal platform for sustainable and new operations.