Bengaluru’s helicopter taxi service is all set to take off on Monday with users able to fly from Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City in 15 minutes, a journey that usually takes two hours by road.
The heli-taxi service is being introduced in the city by Thumby Aviation, which will operate two Bell 407 helicopters, that can seat up to six people.
The service will operate in two shifts during peak business hours – from 6.30 to 9.30 am and from 3.00 to 6.15 pm. Currently the service is only available between Bengaluru airport and Electronic City, while HAL Airport will be added as an additional destination in the next two weeks.
Speaking to TNM, an airport spokesperson said, “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.”
“We are starting off the service at Rs 3,500 plus GST while 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.
Thumby Aviation plans to start helicopter services to tourist places like Chikkamagaluru and Coorg as well.
“In addition to ferrying passengers to Electronic City and HAL, we will also have getaway packages to Coorg, Wayanad and Chikkamagaluru,” Govind Nair added.
On February 14, a few lucky couples in Bengaluru got an early chance to indulge in the heli-taxi experience through a Valentine’s Day themed competition on radio.
Although there seems to be no respite from Bengaluru’s traffic mess, getting home from the Kempegowda International Airport is going to get easier in the coming months – that is, if you are willing to shell out the money for it.