Tired of being stuck in traffic? Now you can hail a helicopter with almost the same ease as getting an Uber car. Isn’t it exciting news? No need to wait for so long in heavy Indian traffic to reach your destination.
Bengaluru is the first Indian city to have on-demand helicopter service in Asia. Thumby Aviation, is the company that is operating the On Demand Helicopter Taxis in India. They told CNT 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, so now you can fly sky high.
About Thumby Aviation:
The first helicopter is set to take off on Monday morning from Electronic City at 6:30 am with five customers having confirmed their seats, said Thumby Aviation chairman K.N.G Nair. The company was specialized in a private charter for government officials and operates the helicopters.
Capt. K.N.G Nair, Chairman and Managing Director of the parent company Thumby Aviation Pvt. Ltd., was an Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter pilot with over 14,500 hours of accident/incident free flying in the 40 years of his aviation career. He has also been awarded the prestigious Vayu Sena Medal Gallantry by the President of India. Along with Capt. K.N.G Nair, Govind founded HeliTaxii in 2017 after 2 years of market study, led by a strong vision to provide the fastest means of travel for a passenger from the city to the airport and vice-versa.
Traffic is a burgeoning problem with an average of 470 hours in a year spent on roads by an employee in Bengaluru. Govind says “Traffic delays cost the city over Rs.65 billion a year! Electronic City houses over 300 companies and there is a large influx of visitors to E-city consisting of clients, CEOs, consultants etc. throughout the year. It is estimated that on average 20,000 to 25,000 passengers ply between the airport and E-city daily. Road travel from the airport to E-city takes a minimum of 2 to 3.5 hours, depending on the time of day. This translates to over 60,000 hours of unproductive time in a day spent on the roads. With the Heli-taxi service, this arduous 3-hour road journey is reduced to a blissful 15-minute journey.
HeliTaxi is not an affordable as compared to normal Uber ride for the same. But Bangalore airport and Thumby Aviation, who is operating the service, say it’s a competitive alternative to tech executives in a hurry.
“A large number of high profile travelers, including CEOs, have to spend more than three hours by road to get there – and that is a loss of time,” a Bangalore airport spokesperson told CNN. This is not a low-cost option, but it is an option.
In an effort to bypass the traffic, choppers will passengers between the two destinations, about 50 km apart. The flights are timed to peak business hours. There is an average of three round between Bangalore’s International Airport (KIA) and Electronic City from 6.30am to 9.30am and another three round-trips from 3.00pm to 6.15pm.
Those who want to avail the service can book a seat through the app (Heli Taxii). The fare is 4,130Rs per person, including GST. Once traveler exit the lounge, the company has vehicles to ferry passengers to its facility. Those who want to avail the service can book a seat through the app (Heli Taxii). The fare is 4,130Rs per person, including GST.
Thumby Aviation has plans to launch such services in other cities as well. It could also offer its helicopters for organ harvesting and transferring patients who do not require medical assistance on a flight to hospitals. At present, the company is operating only in helicopter taxi.