The heli-taxi made two trips on its first day of operations.

Heli-taxi takes off users reach Bluru airport from Electronic City in 15 min
news Transport Tuesday, March 06, 2018 - 16:05

In a first-of-its-kind service in the country, Bengaluru’s helicopter taxi took off on Monday. Commuters were delighted that their two-hour journey from Electronic City to the airport can be cut to a mere 15 minutes.

The heli-taxi service was introduced in the city by Thumby Aviation, which will operate two Bell 407 helicopters that can seat up to six people. It made two trips on day one, where six people availed the service.

The service will operate in two shifts during peak business hours – from 6:30 pm to 9.30 pm and from 3:00 pm to 6.15 pm. At present, the service is only available between Bengaluru airport and Electronic City. HAL Airport will be added as a destination in the next two weeks.

Agostino Fernandez, a businessman from Goa, was one of the first users of the heli-taxi. He took the heli-taxi from Electronic City to the airport at 3:30 pm on Monday, and was delighted that he avoided the traffic on the way to the airport.

“At 3:30, taxis in Bengaluru don’t move 1 km in 15 minutes whereas with a heli-taxi, in 15 minutes I crossed almost 50 km. It was comfortable and the view was beautiful. It was a bit of sightseeing and also got me to the airport safe and sound and on time for the flight,” he said.

Agostino frequently flies to Bengaluru and said he would consider using the service more.

“I cannot comment on the price yet because for me to say it is expensive or cheap, I need to be able to compare it to something else so since there is no comparison, I think it is okay. I found it neither exorbitant nor cheap,” he added.

Tickets for the heli taxi are priced at Rs. 4,130 per seat and includes the drive from the airport terminal to the helipad in the premises. Users can carry luggage up to 15 kg only and anything over that will be shipped at extra cost.

“We are starting off the service at Rs 3,500 plus GST. There is also an introductory offer of Rs 2,500 plus GST if you register with us as a corporate,” said Govind Nair, Head of Business Development, Thumby Aviation Private Ltd.

While the service is now available between Electronic City and the Bengaluru airport, it will soon expand to HAL Old Airport Road and other areas in the city.

“The shuttle service will start from the airport to Electronic City. The city has close to 90 helipads awaiting DGCA approval. As some of those get cleared, then we will slowly expand the service to other areas. The process of schedules, identifying locations and programs will begin now,” an airport spokesperson earlier told TNM.

Although there seems to be no respite from Bengaluru’s traffic, getting home from Kempegowda International Airport will become easier in the coming months – that is, if you are willing to shell out the money for it.

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