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Greek Seaplanes: Maldivian model,
Mediterranean potential — May 2019

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Seaplane operation is one of the most esoteric segments of the airline industry. Seaplanes have a romantic image but they can also be serious commercial propositions, notably in the Indian Ocean and on the North American west coast. Is there also potential in the Mediterranean?

A useful database on seaplanes, manufacturers and operators has been compiled by researchers at Munich Technical University for the EU, entitled FUSETRA (Future Seaplane Traffic). Their survey identified 136 seaplanes — propeller driven aircraft with floats as opposed to flying boats — in commercial service in 2018. The most popular type was the twin-engine 19-seat DHC-6 Twin Otter, accounting for 38% of the total, followed by the DHC-3 Otter and the DHC-2 Beaver, single-engine with 11 and 6 seats respectively, accounting for 20% and 26% of the fleet. The other significant manufacturer was Cessna whose planes, ranging from the 3-seat capacity Cessna 172 to the 9-seat Cessna 208 Caravan, made up 23% of the fleet.


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