Helicopter Rides Catching on for Weddings

Published: 02nd December 2015 05:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2015 05:17 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Destination wedding became popular when Ayan Mukerji’s directorial Ye Jawaani Hai Deewani showed how much fun can it be. But weddings in India seem to have gone further... up in the air.

Sandeep Agarwal from Droom says, “We have also arranged planes for an entire wedding. The client was based out of Mumbai. We had about 80 guests on board.”

Most such bookings are from Mumbai, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. And now, Bengaluru has started making a few enquiries as well, says Captain Atish from Colossus Air Services.

Sandeep says that planes are sometimes hired to pick up guests. “People hire one to host a bachelor party or sometimes even propose to their girlfriends or boyfriends.”

Eighty per cent of his customers are male, he says, and they earn anything between Rs5 lakh and Rs11 lakh annually. Within four months, Droom has received about 20 bookings. “A majority of bookings are for this December and January,” he shares.

Sandeep provides three kinds of planes depending on the requirement -- Falcon, Hawker, Bombardier. It costs a minimum of Rs1.46 lakh for an hour. Guests sometimes also have special requests. “They want customised flower arrangements and menu,” he said.

Sunil Narayanan, director at Chipsan Aviation, says that 75 per cent of the time people hire helicopters for showering flowers while a marriage is in progress or when the happy couple step out of the church.

“People are sometimes particular about being married at the Guruvayur Temple, but there are few wedding halls around. So, they are forced to book halls 200-300 km away from the temple and the couple and relatives fly in to the hall in a helicopter,” he says. The helicopter service is also used for flying to honeymoon spots.

The aviation services are particular about safety. Surya Narayana makes sure he has a 12-kg dry chemical extinguisher and a fully equipped first-aid box.

Hiring a helicopter is not easy. It requires a written permission from the District Magistrate.

“Along with that they also have to arrange for medical, fire and security services at the place where the copter will land,” says Colossus’ Captain Atish. But his clients are prepared to take the trouble for a bit of novelty.

But sometimes these helicopters also face the brunt of bad weather.

“We inform the client in advance about it. We make sure that weather is perfect for flying before we take off,” he says.

What does it cost?

Price: Rs1.46 lakh per hour

Average cost: Rs3 to Rs4 lakhs per wedding

Occasions: Wedding, proposals, bachelor parties, commute to wedding halls 80% of customers male


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