Are you dreading the journey to and from Kempegowda International Airport? Well, now you can heave a sigh of relief as Bengaluru’s heli taxis are all set to start their operations in the city from this week. Bengaluru International Airport Limited officials have tied up with Thambi Aviation, a Kerala-based helicopter service, to facilitate India’s first heli-taxi service. According to the heli-taxi service provider, the travel time will reduce to 15 minutes.
According to Captain Nair, Thambi Aviation has two four-bladed, single engine Bell 407 helicopters, but only one will be used in the first phase of service. The heli taxi will fly from Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City, Phase 1 and HAL Airport. The heli-taxi has enough space to accommodate six passengers at a time.
Heli-taxi timings, ticket prices, and more…
The schedule of flights is flexible, but for now the taxis will operate in two slots. The taxi will travel for three hours from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and again from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm in the evening. The ticket price will be Rs 3,500 per person, which after including GST will be Rs 4,130 per person. Additionally, there is a luggage allowance of up to 15 kg per person. If you wish to carry additional luggage, you will have to pay additional charges.
For frequent travellers, Captain Nair says, “Based on the response, we will think of introducing monthly or weekly passes. But till now we have not thought of any such arrangement.”
How do I book a heli-taxi?
Thambi Aviation has its own app called HeliTaxi. Right now, the app is available for Android as well as iOS users and you can log in through Facebook or OTP. The best part is that users can book seats even a month or two before their flight date. If you have not planned your journey in advance and want to ride a taxi, you can book a seat at the company’s counter at Bangalore International Airport.
Captain Nair also says “There are some rooftop helipads available which require clearance from DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for their operation. “We plan to connect Whitefield and other parts (of the city) which will also be part of the second phase.”
On the occasion of the launch, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said, “We hope that Bengaluru will pave the way for other Indian cities to adopt such services. For example, in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, which is similar in size to Bengaluru, 300 helicopters are operating as heli-taxis. My appeal to the operators is to keep their prices competitive with air-conditioned road taxis.
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