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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today said it is exploring possibilities to introduce seaplanes on the Brahmaputra in Assam, making the river the largest waterways in the world. "We are exploring possibilities for introducing seaplanes in Assam. With the seaplanes, Brahmaputra can be the largest waterway in the world," SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said at the inaugural function of the Global Investors Summit 2018 here. Seaplanes have immense potential in the form of tourism, adventure travel as well as improving connectivity, he said but did not elaborate on the company's plans for introducing them. Seaplanes are typically fixed-wing aircraft with a much fewer number of seats and can take off from and land on water. While they have been in use since the 19th century, they have lagged behind full-fledged aircraft after heavy investments were made in setting up airports in the 20th century.
They have been re-emerging as a niche segment. On the air network, the Singh said "We propose to connect Assam to Thailand, Myanmar and other ASEAN countries. This will surely help the region grow economically." SpiceJet also aims to help the agriculture sector of Assam and has begun transporting consignments of fresh vegetables and fruits from it to other parts of the country, Singh informed. "Going forward, SpiceJet will invest in creating a modern supply chain network and build storage capacities across Assam. We want to help the government actively in its 'Act East Policy'," he added. Singh had said at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos that seaplanes can boost the country's tourism sector in a big way as they can convert any pond into an airport and can make any river a runway.