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Hyderabad, March 5

It just takes the distance a long-jumper would for take-off. The nine-seater P-750 XSTOL (Extreme Short Take Off and Landing) from New Zealand will soon fly Indian skies.

Aircraft Search and Aviation Professionals (ASAP), the Delhi-based air charter and consultancy services with exclusive marketing rights in India and Nepal, will sign deals for at least four such aircraft, two for medical services and one each for North-East and a regional air carrier.

“Costing about $1.54 million, the 1,350-kg aircraft needs $280 an hour maintenance and fuel, far less than the competition in this category,” Mr Sudeep Narula, Co-Founder of ASAP, said.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday at the India Aviation 2010, he said the aircraft could be converted into a freighter in 30 minutes. It could take a longer haul if a few seats were taken off to make way for a makeshift, additional fuel source.

With its ability take-off or land at a short length of 330 ft, it could use virtually any strip, including the uneven, hilly terrains, making it easier to connect the remote areas. Its flexibility would make it handy for aerial surveys, aerial photography, medical evacuation, crop dusting and fire-fighting.

Though it did not own any aircraft, the company tied up some players to offer charter services by “using the vacant hours of aircraft”. “We have 20 aircraft of different sizes and comforts at our disposal,” he said.

The company also offered consultancy services for those who aspired to buy/use aircraft.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 6, 2010)
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