DALLAS – 56 years and counting, the iconic Twin Otter has landed a new order for 10 DHC 6-400 versions from Indian regional carrier FlyBig (S9).
The letter of intent was signed by Captain Sanjay Mandavia, CMD of S9, and Yogesh Garg, director of sales, Asia Pacific, De Havilland Aircraft, at the ongoing Wings India 2022 in Hyderabad, India.
“In conjunction with the UDAN initiative, the Indian government’s recently released policy to assist in serving small and remote communities, S9’s goal is to provide connectivity to communities that were not previously accessible by air,” said Captain Sanjay Mandavia.
The Right Plane for the Right Job
The De Havilland Canada Twin Otter 400 Series has an unmatched track record in terms of versatility, operations, and safety. FlyBig calls the type “a valuable asset” which would be just about right to get the “last-mile connectivity” job done, linking the under-served tier of cities or towns in the country. The airline particularly operates in the North East, central and southern parts of the subcontinent.
India is a region where airfares can be picked up for extremely low prices, but the operating costs of a twin-otter that commutes just 19 passengers are rather high. That’s exactly where the UDAN program fits in. It’s a regional scheme that waives off several fees, such as landing and navigation, for regional carriers that fly and connect tier 2 and tier 3 cities. S9 can maximize this opportunity and step up its game in the low-cost regional market.
The Twin Otter is a STOL aircraft (Short Field Take-off and Landing) that needs a couple of hundred meters to lift off and land safely, ready to transport passengers, freight, paradrops, or fly surveillance missions. It can be delivered with a fixed set of landing gears or floats for water-based operations. The cabin configuration also features flexibility—from passenger to freight and vice versa in no time.
Featured image: De Havilland Canada Twin Otter Series 400 Aircraft – FlyBig. Photo: De Havilland Canada