The Indian subsidiary of US-based helicopter transportation firm BLADE India has launched scheduled helicopter services between Bengaluru-Coorg and Bengaluru-Kabini in Karnataka. This will cut travel time to the two cities from Bengaluru to an hour from the usual seven hours, and the cost of a seat starts from INR 16,000 one way. By Eshita Srinivas
In an effort to boost heli-tourism and ease travel in Karnataka, BLADE India, a private charter service has launched helicopter services from Bengaluru to tourist-hubs Coorg and Kabini. The service will reduce travel time to these two spots to an hour from the usual tiresome 6-7 hours by road. According to a report by The News Minute, the pay-per seat service will cost INR 16,000 one-way to either destination and all flights from Bengaluru will take off from the Jakkur aerodrome.
The helicopter service will ease travel on inaccessible and congested routes in Karnataka
Known for its weekend private charter services, BLADE India has stated that the aim of these routes is to connect congested and inaccessible surface routes in the country, while also providing services such as baggage handling, ground transfers, and partner benefits. Amit Dutta, MD, BLADE India, added “Karnataka boasts of some of the most beautiful destinations in the country, however, their accessibility is a pain point. 6-7 hours of road travel from Bangalore eat into the precious time that travellers could otherwise spend enjoying their holiday. BLADE mitigates this pain with an hour’s seamless experience,” according to a report by the Economic Times.
To ease things further, travellers can expect to land directly at a resort in these destinations. In a tie-up with Evolve Back resorts, BLADE enables customers to book both their stay and flight at once. Speaking to The Hindu, Thomas Emmanuel Ramapuram, the Sales Director at the resort said, “Pay-Per-Seat service is a game-changer, which is common in high-end destinations like the Maldives and in Africa. This is a huge boost for luxury travel in Karnataka and will transform our leisure tourism industry in the months to come.”
BLADE India was launched in 2019 in partnership with Hunch Ventures and has six operational routes in the country, including Mumbai-Pune-Shirdi in Maharashtra.
Jakkur Airport is the current hub for heli-tourism services
#JustIn:Tourism Dept to ink MoU with Youth Empowerment & Sports Dept to build #Heliport at #Jakkur flying training school capable of facilitating landing & take off of 6 helicopters ? simultaneously. It is expected to boost travel-tourism. @DeccanHerald #Bengaluru #Karnataka pic.twitter.com/s25e99rlpe
— Niranjan Kaggere (@nkaggere) June 21, 2021
Earlier this year in June, the Karnataka Tourism Department had acquired all the necessary approvals from the Airport Authority of India and the Youth and Sports Services department to use Jakkur aerodrome for heli tourism, with helipads enabled for the take-off and landing of up to 6 helicopters at a time. The other regions connected through this circuit are Goa, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, and Kerala, according to a report by The Indian Express.
For further information on routes and services, visit here.