5 July 2023: Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (MEHAIR), an Indian seaplane operator, anticipates the addition of cutting-edge electric aircraft to its fleet within the next six years. MEHAIR has placed an order for multiple PHA-ZE 100 electric planes, which are being developed by Jekta, a renowned commercial seaplane manufacturer headquartered in Switzerland. The PHA-ZE 100 electric aircraft is specifically designed to cater to communities residing along coastlines and islands. The initial delivery will feature an aircraft configuration that can comfortably accommodate up to 19 passengers, ensuring convenient and efficient transportation for those in these regions.

In an official press release by the company, Siddharth Verma, director of MEHAIR said, “We know the Jekta team’s heritage for producing efficient amphibious aircraft and made a strategic decision to acquire these aircraft early.”

He further added, “We want to be one of the first aviation companies in the world to operate a zero-emissions aircraft to support regional flights between land and water infrastructure. Blessed with a 7,400km-long coastline and a rich diversity of rivers, lakes, backwaters and dams, India is readying for the amphibious aircraft revolution. We are one of the fastest-growing aviation sectors and the world’s largest untapped seaplane geography. The PHA-ZE 100 checks all the boxes for meeting this amphibious potential, and we are confident that the affordable airframe will transform the way India travels.”

MEHAIR has been actively operating flights to various destinations within the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Maharashtra, providing crucial connectivity to these regions. Additionally, in alignment with the government of India's UDAN regional connectivity scheme, MEHAIR is expanding its services to include new routes. This scheme aims to enhance regional connectivity by subsidising air routes and facilitating infrastructure development, thereby enabling the connection of small towns across India through efficient and accessible air travel.

The PHA-ZE 100 amphibious flying boat is set to obtain certifications that adhere to the specific standards for fixed-wing passenger aircraft, namely the EASA CS-23 and US FAA FAR-23 regulations. Jekta emphasises that the PHA-ZE 100 is meticulously designed to cater to coastal and island communities, as well as regional routes currently constrained by high operational costs. Furthermore, it aims to facilitate the establishment of new low-cost and sustainable air services between cities, eliminating the need for costly land infrastructure installations. The PHA-ZE 100's versatile configurations, such as a 19-seat layout, mixed economy/freight options, VIP configuration, and ambulance setup, maximise the utility of its spacious stand-up cabin.

The introduction of the PHA-ZE 100 electric aircraft into MEHAIR's fleet marks a significant step towards revolutionising air travel in coastal and island communities. With its adherence to stringent EASA CS-23 and US FAA FAR-23 standards, this cutting-edge flying boat ensures the utmost safety and reliability for passengers.