Alliance Air welcomes the first Indian-built Dornier 228

Alliance Air recently took delivery of a Dornier 228 aircraft to expand its footprint in the country’s regional market. The Indian-made aircraft is expected to start commercial operations in a few days, linking cities in India’s northeast region. The 228 will feature alongside Alliance Air’s ATR aircraft which already serve several Tier 2 and 3 cities in India.

New member of the fleet

On Thursday, Indian regional carrier Alliance Air welcomed an Indian-made Dornier 228 jet to its fleet. It is part of a two-plane lease agreement signed between the airline and state-owned aerospace company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL).

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In February 2021, Alliance Air signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HAL at the Aero India event in Bangalore. In September, the carrier cemented the deal by signing a lease for two 228 aircraft to expand its regional presence in northeast India.

Alliance Air will be the first Indian airline to use the Dornier 228 for scheduled passenger flights. The 17-seat aircraft is capable of operating on short, semi-prepared runways for day and night services and is often used for utility and commuter transport, air taxi operations, guard duty. coasts and maritime surveillance by the Indian Armed Forces.


Where will he fly?

Following the privatization of Air India, Alliance Air remains the only public airline in India and appears to be gearing up for a life beyond AI. From renovating aircraft cabins to investing in new IT infrastructure to adding new ATR 42 aircraft, the carrier is busy shifting its business strategy.

The latest Dornier 228 aircraft is part of this growth plan to expand the airline’s reach into India’s regional airspace. Alliance Air will soon connect five cities in the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh (Pasighat, Tezu, Ziro, Mechuka and Tuting) to the city of Dibrugarh in Assam.

The first inaugural service in the Dibrugarh-Lilabari-Pasighat-Guwahati sector is scheduled to take place on April 12. According to The Times of India, India’s Civil Aviation Minister Jytiraditya Scindia and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu will be on board the inaugural flight.


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As the aircraft flew mainly for the defense forces, setting up maintenance and crewing services for commercial operations was initially a challenge for Alliance Air. According to Business Standard, the carrier currently has eight pilots, including some Indian Air Force deputies and retired Coast Guard pilots who will fly the plane. It has also partnered with an MRO service provider for the 228.

Story

The history of the Dornier 228 in India goes back nearly four decades. In 1983, India signed a licensing production and phased technology transfer agreement for the aircraft with German Dornier GmbH. HAL has been granted permission to set up a separate production line in the country under the agreement.

The first Indian-built 228s rolled out of the factory in 1985, and by 2014 over 120 Dornier 228s had been produced. The last aircraft to enter the Alliance Air fleet (VT-KNP) was manufactured in 2017 and is almost 5 years old.

In order to be cleared for commercial operations, HAL made modifications to the aircraft and its equipment, and India’s aviation regulator, DGCA, issued it a type certificate in 2017.

What do you think of this latest aircraft added to the Alliance Air fleet? Please share your opinions in the comments section.

Source: The Times of India, Business Standard, Currency


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