In what could radically change the way devotees travel to the holy sites of Meherabad, Shirdi and Shani Shinglapur, Maritime Energy Heli Air Services (MEHAIR), seaplane company, has successfully conducted trial landings of its seaplane in Mula dam. Its Cessna 206H amphibian aircraft took off from Juhu Aerodrome in Mumbai and landed in the water at the Mula Dam 45 mins later. Located at a distance of 58 km from Shirdi, 60 km from Meherabad and 25 km from Shani Shinglapur, the waterdrome at the dam is ideally suited for the people who want to get to these destinations quickly return the same day to Mumbai. Trial flights were also undertaken at Pawna Dam.
The company is also tying up with a taxi service to ensure that the passengers get to their destination from the dam without any hitch. The bookings to these sectors is open on the company's website with the first commercial flight slated for March 26, 2014. A one way ride between Mumbai and Mula Dam is expected to cost around INR 7500 per head. The company is optimistic that with the induction of the larger 9 seater aircraft from end April, the prices may come down thus making this service even more attractive for the travellers.
Speaking on the occasion of the Mula Dam trials, Siddharth Verma, co-founder and director, MEHAIR, said, "The launch of this service is exciting for the state and the large number of devotees who travel to the holy towns of Meherabad, Shirdi and Shani Shinglapur as it will bring these places within an hour and a half of Mumbai as opposed to six hour journeys. We are confident that the public at large will see the value of the service and take full advantage of it."
The company has recently entered into an MoU with MTDC to launch seaplanes in the state and earlier on February 24, 2014. Maharashtra became the first state in the mainland of India when MEHAIR's service was flagged off to Aamby Valley Lake.