Bangalore’s much-awaited heli taxi service is all set to take off some time next week, though the exact date is yet to be announced. Thumby Aviation, the company operating the helicopter taxis, told CNT that permissions are in place and two Bell 407 helicopters are ready to fly passengers from Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City, Phase 1 and to HAL Airport. This means that a journey that usually takes two hours by road will now take only 15 minutes.
Bangalore heli taxi timings
While the schedule for the flights is flexible, the heli taxi will operate in two shifts, for now. The flights are timed to peak business hours. There will be an average of three round-trips between Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Electronic City from 6.30am to 9.30am and another three round-trips from 3.00pm to 6.15pm. (Flights between Bangalore KIA and HAL Airport will start on 1 March.) The four-blade, single-engine Bell 407 chopper to be used as a heli taxi can seat up to six people.
Ticket prices for the Bangalore heli taxi
Tickets for the heli taxi are priced at Rs4,130 per seat (Rs3,500 + GST). It includes the drive from the Bangalore airport terminal to the helipad on the premises. It also includes carry-on luggage up to 15kg. Anything over that will have to be shipped over ground at extra cost.
How to book the Bangalore heli taxi
You can book your seat through the Heli Taxii mobile app (Android/iOS). The ‘Fly Now’ option is not available yet—we’re told the app will be fully ready by 23 February. For now, you can select ‘Fly Later’, choose the flight you’re coming in on, and add your pick-up/drop details (Bangalore airport/Electronic City). Add luggage information, select the number of seats and complete the payment, through a link in your email.
More flights coming soon
“We will soon be looking at expanding to offer our services to several destinations,” Govind Nair, director, business development at Thumby Aviation, told CNT. Next on the cards are helicopter flights between HAL Airbase and Whitefield. “If all goes to plan, you could soon set off on a weekend getaway to Chikmagalur or Wayanad on a heli taxi.”
The Bangalore heli taxi project is an ambitious venture to cut travel time between the airport and the city to start with, and later within the city. The government has said that it plans to open up as many as 90 helipads across Bangalore, though only the one at ITC Royal Gardenia on Residency Road has been cleared by the DGCA so far. Even so, the Bangalore helicopter taxi service finally taking off is good news, especially for bleary-eyed business travellers who routinely have to wake up at 3am for their 7am flights.
This is an unedited news that first appeared on www.cntraveller.in