Bengaluru to offer India's first helicopter taxi service; here's what you need to know

Helicopter service is likely to commence in three months and the first flight route will connect the city’s IT hub

Bengaluru airport will soon launch a helicopter-taxi (heli-taxi) service for passengers who want to save time by avoiding city’s infamous traffic. The helicopter service, which will be operated by Thumby Aviation Private Limited, is likely to commence in three months and the first flight route will connect the city’s IT hub, Electronic City to the airport, and is estimated to complete the journey within 15 minutes. Notedly, Kempegowda International Airport will be India’s first airport to have this facility.

The distance between the Airport and electronic city, home to several IT firms such as Infosys, Wipro and HP, is nearly 55 km. Given the awful traffic scene in Bengaluru, it often takes a cab two hours or even more to complete the journey and costs over Rs 1000, while the chopper journey would reduce it to 15 minutes.

Though the fare for the short haul has not been finalised, KIA officials indicated that it would be approximately Rs 2,500.

“We hope that Bengaluru will lead the way for other cities to adopt such services. Travel will be seamless and there will be no need to fight traffic. My appeal to the operators is to fix the price in a way that the heli-taxi service remains competitive.” Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said here on Friday.

Sinha said that the new service may benefit IT and business leaders who come Bengaluru, who are often worried about the traffic situation in the city. Currently about 60,000 people ply to and from the airport every day. Officials at KIA said that even if they get 100 passengers every day to use the heli taxi service, that would be a great to start. Bengaluru, India’s tech hub with a population of around 10 million, has over 6.93 million vehicles, or two vehicles for every three people, according to the state transport department.