SpiceJet's seaplane service has been temporarily suspended due to maintenance, less than a month after its launch.
The aircraft - a 19-seater Twin Otter 300 - will be sent back to the Maldives less than a month after the service began, Hindustan Times reported. The seaplane belongs to Maldivian Aero, which is providing crew, maintenance and insurance to SpiceJet.
The seaplane service, run by Spice Shuttle, operates between the Statue of Unity near Kevadiya in Gujarat's Narmada district and Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad.
A SpiceJet spokesperson confirmed the development to Hindustan Times.
"Seaplane operation has been temporarily suspended due to mandatory aircraft maintenance. Since the maintenance facility (dry and wet dock) is still under construction at Ahmedabad, the aircraft has to be sent to our lessor's facility at Maldives. The operation will resume once the aircraft is back. The maintenance facility at Ahmedabad should be ready soon which would ensure that future maintenance is done here itself," the spokesperson told the paper.
The airline stated that the maintenance had been scheduled beforehand. "We didn't take any bookings beyond November 27 as this was pre-planned," the spokesperson said.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) did not comment on the matter when contacted by the publication.
Sources in the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) said as per report that the aircraft might be replaced.
The seaplane service was also halted on November 4 and November 5 due to maintenance.