IRCTC starts Helicopter joyrides in Mumbai
Mumbai: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) will be back with helicopter joyrides starting Monday. The ride will offer an aerial view of the city for 20 minutes at a cost of Rs 2,995 per person. IRCTC has tied up with private chopper company, Aman Aviation, which will use the US-made Robinson R-44 helicopter carrying three passengers at a time. To book a joy ride, passengers can log on to www.irctctourism.com.
The IRCTC official spokesperson said that in the initial phase, joy rides will be operated to facilitate an aerial view of the suburbs of east and south Mumbai. Joy rides for south Mumbai will likely be undertaken on Mondays and Thursdays whereas joy rides for east Mumbai will be available on any given day except Wednesday. Booking will be closed four days prior to departure of the flight. Thirty seats will be available every day.
Manager operation of Aman Aviation informed that while flying towards the north, passengers will be shown Juhu Beach, Aksa Beach, Film City (Madh Island), Gorai Beach, Pagoda, Water Kingdom and Essel World. Whereas the south-bound ride will fly above Juhu, Bandra-Worli Sea Link, Worli Seaface, Mahalaxmi Temple, Haji Ali and Marine Drive (Queen’s Necklace).
Managing director of Aman Aviation, Rajendra Johri, said, they have rides of 20 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes. “The helicopter we are using has a bubble-shaped cockpit that will provide an excellent view. All passengers will have their own independent view in full comfort,” he said.
Earlier, on January 7 this year, Pawan Hans, a leading private helicopter company, in association with Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC), started 10 minute joy rides of the city at a cost of Rs3,200 per person. Already, there are a few non-scheduled chopper companies operating private 15 minute helicopter joy rides at the cost of Rs15,000 for up to four persons and Rs22,500 for up to four persons as also private 20 minute helicopter joyrides at the cost of Rs 27,000 for four persons.
Commenting on the possibilities of this market, Mr Johri said, “We are providing a long-time journey at the lowest cost to our passengers and I hope it will attract them. But, we are not doing it for competition, as we are in a tie-up with IRCTC, which has a huge reach. I am sure we will be able to reach more people. Also, our aircraft is a four-seater where everyone can look at the city from the sky which they will find attractive.”