Jekta has signed an order for 50 of its PHA-ZE 100 electrically powered regional amphibious aircraft.
Indian seaplane operator Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (MEHAIR) has inked a deal with deposits agreed for 10 firm orders and options for 40 more. MEHAIR will be the first customer to receive the aircraft in Asia, with initial deliveries starting in 2029. It is anticipated that the first 10 aircraft will be delivered in baseline configuration for 19 passengers to support regional connectivity. MEHAIR, based in Mumbai, India, has been operating seaplanes since 2011.
“We know the Jekta team’s heritage for producing efficient amphibious aircraft and made a strategic decision to acquire these aircraft early,” said Siddharth Verma, director of MEHAIR. “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 served destinations across the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as destinations across Maharashtra and is adding new routes under the government of India’s UDAN regional connectivity scheme, which aims to connect small towns in India through subsidised air routes and infrastructure development.
“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,” said George Alafinov, CEO, Jekta Switzerland. “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, all of which will support Indian amphibious operations. We know that the Indian government has defined multiple water routes across India and is launching some 100 seaplane routes. We are delighted to work with MEHAIR to cater to this new and exciting market’s dynamic demands.”
The PHA-ZE 100 amphibious flying boat will be certified to EASA CS-23 and US FAA FAR-23 standards for fixed-wing passenger aircraft. Jekta says the PHA-ZE 100 is optimised 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 stand-up cabin.