In a first for desi aviation, Alliance Air will soon be using a made-in-India aircraft for scheduled passenger flights. AA is leasing two Dornier 228 turboprops manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and hopes to start commercial flights on them by this March. AA, currently a part of Air India group, is not being sold off with the Maharaja and will continue to remain state-owned.
The 19-seater Dornier 228 was exclusively used by defence forces and was authorised for civilian use in 2018. With a list price of Rs.50-55 crore, HAL says it compares favourably with similar size turboprops made abroad for operating short routes under the government’s ambitious regional connectivity UDAN scheme. AA using this aircraft will be the first instance of a made-in-India aircraft being used for regular commercial flights.