With the launch of the Dibrugarh-Pasighat flight on Tuesday, the Do-228 will be starting its second innings in the country’s northeast.
When Alliance Air launches services in the Northeastern region with two Dornier 228s on Tuesday, it would be flight coming a full circle for the 19-seater aircraft. Currently manufactured by the public sector Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in India, the German flying machine was first deployed by the long-defunct regional airline Vayudoot to service over 100 airports across India till the early 1990s.
This is also the first time that the civilian version of the aircraft is made entirely in the country.
More than a decade before the country scrapped the Air Corporation Acts, 1953, to pave way for a multitude of private carriers through the Open Skies Policy, Vayudoot – named after ancient Sanskrit dramatist Kalidasa’s magnum opus – took wings on January 26, 1981, to especially bring the unconnected towns in the Northeast on India’s air map.
Of the total 21 aircraft fleet of what was then often called the world’s fastest-growing airline, ten were Do-228s, which were first deployed in the airline’s fleet in 1985. In all print advertisements and hoardings of the airline, the Vayudoot brand was represented by Do-228.