Steps afoot to run intra-city helicopter service every hour between two Bengaluru airports
Due to persistent demand from tourists following its services from the City to the tourist locales of Coorg and Kabini, Blade India will also shortly launch operations between Bengaluru and Hampi.
Published: 29th March 2023 11:42 AM | Last Updated: 29th March 2023 11:42 AM | A+A A-
BENGALURU: With 70 per cent occupancy witnessed for its intra-city helicopter service between Kempegowda International Airport and HAL Airport, the urban air mobility company operating it is now keen on operating the service every one hour during the daytime. Due to persistent demand from tourists following its services from the City to the tourist locales of Coorg and Kabini, Blade India will also shortly launch operations between Bengaluru and Hampi.
At present, two trips from either end are being operated five days a week since October 10 last year, when it was relaunched after a temporary shutdown of operations. The cost of a ticket is Rs 4,000 plus 18% GST and it takes just 12 minutes between the airports instead of the nearly two-hour road trip.
Amit Dutta, Managing Director of Blade India and Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry Taskforce on Short Haul Air Mobility told TNIE, “For the services we are operating, we are getting a good response. However, since flyers can presently travel only in the two trips, many who want to use the helicopter service are unable to do so. Hence, we have decided to run it once every hour during the daytime hours within a few months.” Aviation rules in India do not permit operations during night hours.
“We are already in talks with aircraft manufacturers to provide us more aircraft for the purpose. We will be pressing 3 or 4 aircraft in service in Bengaluru,” he said.
The long-planned heli services to connect Electronic City and Whitefield to any of the airports is still in the offing with Hosur in Tamil Nadu too being contemplated now.
From 2026, Blade India would make the switch to Electric aircraft and the ticket cost would be lesser for the flyer, the MD said. “The cost of a regular helicopter ranges between Rs 24 and Rs 26 crore. This would considerably be reduced in case of electric aircraft. The fuel will be replaced by batteries which will mark another major cost cut. The reduced costs would be passed on to the customer,” he assured. The noise too would be negligible in the case of electric aircraft,” he added.
Blade India runs operations across Maharashtra connecting many places including the Shirdi temple.