Lifestyle

Heli Taxii takes off in Bengaluru

Heli Taxii is one of a kind Taxi service available in Bangalore that lets people ply across places on Helicopter.  This was probably never thought of nearly 20-25 years back in Bangalore.  The Helicopter service has always been used by defences persons, government officials or celebrity actors to travel quickly.  Most common memory of Helicopter usage has been for rescue operations and survey across flood affects regions.  Even now, the Heli Taxi will help people fly across the roads flooded with Vehicular traffic.  There have been talks going on about launching this service since a year and finally it has taken off in Bangalore.

Maiden Flight

Thumbv Aviation along with their social media partners, selected couple of Blogger/Influencers to experience the ride as trial.  I was lucky to be selected along with 2 other fellow Bloggers.

The boarding point was at the Thumby Helipad close to DHL/Buedart Cargo office near to Kempegowda International Airport.

Flight could accommodate maximum of 6 people, including – 1 pilot, 1 navigator (passenger), 4 passengers in the back.

Pre-flight Briefing

  • We were initially briefed about the ride details, expected journey time, helicopter details and safety precautions.  During the flight, pilot/captain clearly instructed us not to fiddle with the glasses and just enjoy the ride.IMG_20180304_101041
  • Pilot/Captain also explained how we should be sitting in case of emergency.  We were told to put our hands-on knees and bend the head down.
  • The blades of helicopter might seem to be quite low in height, round about 8-10ft.  So, if a person stands right below the wing-span while it rotates, it would be very scary.  As a precautionary measure, captain told us to walk in 10pm angle soon after landing and walk by bending the head down.

Flying Experience

  • After the safety instructions were shared, it was time to take-off for the maiden flight.  I was very excited as this was my first-time experience riding a Helicopter.
  • Like in aircrafts or cars, it is safe to wear seat-belt before staring the journey.  The seating is quite comfortable and there is ventilation from roof like aircrafts.
  • The pilot got onto the air-control tower to makes sure that the flight path is clear and had the approval to take off.
  • Soon after the approval, in no-time the copter took off spreading the dust in the ground below.  In a matter of 60-90s, we were already cruising at altitude of close to 4000ft (1219.2 mtrs).
  • The feeling being on top and flying was simply amazing, and it is hard to describe in words.  I felt high just sitting and watching the wonderful city of Bangalore from the sky.
  • In the past, I have travelled by huge aircrafts (Boeing 747, Boeing 737, Airbus A320, etc) and also done Micro-flying.  But the experience of sitting in Helicopter was the best and truly amazing.
  • During the flight, we could see plenty of lakes like – Jakkur, Nagavara, Bellandur and few others.  I could spot the KR Puram Hanging bride below while being up in sky.  This made me think about the probably traffic chaos below.  Few other places I could spot like Jakkur, Hegdenagar, Hennur, HAL, Bellandur, Outer Ring Road, Bomanahalli, NICE Road junction and Electronic City.
  • It was special to fly across the old HAL Airport.  We could spot the runway and watch some of the parked Helicopters.
  • We were nearly 12-14 minutes into the ride and destination was just around the corner.  The pilot skilfully turned the copter to the right side and kept descending to the Thumby Helipad at Electronic City.
  • By the time I could prepare myself for taking a pic/video while landing, we had already touched down.  In few seconds, we were standing at the edge of the Helipad watching the Helicopter getting ready board new passengers.

Post Landing

  • The copter had landed at the Thumby Helipad at Electronic City.  Entire journey had taken just under 15 minutes.  This felt quite amazing as the same journey by road would have taken hours.
  • My first thoughts after the ride was that it was comfortable.  Thanks to padding on the roof and well cushioned seats.
  • Priced at INR 3500, this ride would be absolutely steal, as the safe journey by a luxury car would cost around INR 2800.   This will be a boon for corporate heads of companies, whose time is very precious.
  • Heli Taxii service will be completely booked for next couple of months as common people will want to experience the ride.IMG_20180304_105643

Heli Taxii Ride Details

  • Thumby Aviations will be operate two Bell 407 Helicopters, that can seat up to six people.
  • The service will operate in two shifts during peak business hours – 6.30am to 9.30 am, 3.00pm to 6.15pm.
  • Heli Taxi will be plying between KIAL and Electronic City Phase-1.  I came to know that HAL will be added as the next destination within 2 weeks.  Other places that could be added include – ITC Gardenia, Ritz Carlton, Whitefield and more.
  • Price for each person would be around INR 3500 one-way.  Booking can be done via the Heli Taxii app (available on Android and IOS).  Guests will be allowed to book in advance or travel on the same day.
  • Baggage of 15kgs will allowed per guest plying between KIAL and Electronic City.  In case of add-on baggage, they do have tie-up with other ground-transport.  The baggage will take the normal journey via road and delivered in 4hrs time.
  • In future, they do plan add 2-3 more Helicopters and operate between Bangalore and other tourist destinations like Coorg.  This will definitely be a big boon for travellers looking to cut short time and visit more destinations.

Why Bangalore

The IT Capital of India has companies located across different part of the city.  With the growth of IT, people have immigrated from different part of the country and settled in the city.  This has resulted in increase in vehicles plying on road which has eventually lead to increase in traffic and jams.  These jams cause delay in reaching the offices, hospitals, functions or anything else.

If we look at the geography of Bangalore, the International airport is located quite far away from areas where IT companies are present.  Some of the areas that immediately come to mind include – Electronic City, Whitefield, CV Raman Nagar and the Outer Ring Road.  Traveling by Helicopter across to some of the destinations will help save time.

Why KIAL to Electronic City

The distance between Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City is nearly 50kms.  Average travel time by road would be easily 2-2.5hours.  Reducing the travel time for this route will be most beneficial.IMG_20180304_100406

About Thumby Aviation

Thumby Aviation are into the business of Buying/Leasing Helicopters & Fixed Wing Aircrafts for non-scheduled Air Transport Operations.  The company is led by Gp Capt. KNG Nair, an Indian Air Force Veteran with a rich experience in aviation.  They are passionate about the aviation industry and strive to be the front runners for changing aviation scene in the Indian subcontinent.

The company provides helicopters for various State Governments (Nagaland, Chattisgarh), Private Clients (Corporates, Political Parties, VIP, HNIs, Celebrities), State Police (Chattisgarh State Police), Fil Production Houses (Film Kraft, Ajay Devagan Film & YRV Infra Media) and Offshore Clients (Technip & Hardi Offshore).

In future, they plan to introduce Air Ambulance, Heli Taxi, Connecting Rural India, Maintenance & Repair Organizations.

Overall Experience

This was one of the best air flying experience I have had in a long time.  The build up before taking the flight made it very exciting and the journey enhanced it further.  Heli Taxii ride was one of the safest and most comfortable rides from KIAL to Electronic City, under 15mts.  The flying experience was very similar to sitting in the back of eagle and gliding across. The view of the city along with the greenery, lakes, buildings looked amazing.

With added features like – airport pickup, baggage allowance, reduced journey time and tie-up with ground-transport, Heli Taxii will be huge hit.  Hoping to see many more destinations across Bangalore added in near future.

Important Recap

Mobile App – Heli Taxii
Timing – 6.30am to 9.30am; 3.00pm – 6.15pm
Locations – Kemepowda International Airport, Electronic City Phase-1
Price – INR 3500 (approx.)
Journey Time – 15mts

17 replies »

  1. This is so cool. Had seen it initially in Hrish’s timeline but was waiting for this detailed review.

  2. Wow a Heli taxi service now… This is great for corporate and business travellers as roads in Bangalore can get extremely congested in peak hours. 3500 is quite affordable especially for buisiness travellers

  3. I visited Bangalore years back.. First time when I was really young.. Weather was very pleasant at that time, roads were clean and city looked beautiful. Then I visited after I got married, my husband used to work in Infosys electronic city bangalore.. I was shocked to see how Congested Bangalore was in 2010. We wanted to go to a mall which was 10 mins away but we reached there in 2.5 hours. The concept of heli Taxi is clever as well as perfect and will help Bangalore people a lot. It should also be there in other populated cities like Delhi and Bombay.

    Akanksha
    IG : @ms_tantrum

  4. It was so nice to read this post about the latest form of Taxi in Bangalore. It is much needed in our city and I hope there would be plenty for all to use.

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