People of Bengaluru can finally heave a sigh of relief as they may soon get respite from the traffic woes. Heli-taxi services are soon going to be a reality in the IT city! As per reports, India's first taxi-service will be launched next week in Bengaluru. Although the exact date of launch is yet to be announced, Thumby Aviation, the company operating the helicopter taxis, confirmed that the permissions for the same are in place.
According to a CNT report, two Bell 407 helicopters are ready to fly passengers from Bangalore's Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City, Phase 1 and to HAL Airport. Guess what that means? A journey that takes two hours will be cut short to just 15 minutes!
Bengaluru heli-taxi timings
The schedule for the heli rides are flexible and they operate in two shifts. The flights will operate majorly during the peak business hours. There will be an average of three round-trips between Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Electronic City from 6.30am to 9.30am. From March 1, another three round-trips from 3.00pm to 6.15pm will operate between Bangalore KIA and HAL Airport. The heli taxi can accommodate up to six people at one time. While this is the current schedule, changes can be made in the future according to requirements.
The four-blade, single-engine Bell 407 chopper charges Rs 4,130 per seat which is inclusive of GST (Rs 3,500 + GST). Passengers can carry upto 15kg and anything over it will be shipped over the ground for which extra charges will be incurred.
How to book
Android and iOS users can book rides through Heli Taxii mobile app, 'Fly The app will be fully functional from today. One can select 'Fly Later' and choose the flight you are coming in on along with your pick-up and drop details. Then proceed to add luggage information, select the number of seats and complete the payment through a link that you will receive in your email. It shows you the break-up of the cost (GST+extra luggage, if any).
Thumby Aviation is looking forward to expanding their services between HAL Airbase and Whitefield. According to earlier reports, they have plans to connect their services to some 90-odd highrise buildings with rooftop helipads based on demands of people. Soon they may also start weekend getaway trips to nearby places!
According to the state transport, Bengaluru has a population of 10 million and has over 7.93 million vehicles with two vehicles for three people. Heavy traffic is one of the major vows in the IT hub, the government has introduced the new air taxi system. The government now expects the new heli-taxi service to be a model for other cities in India to beat traffic.