Indian charter company Deccan Aviation has launched a helicopter taxi service to bring passengers from Bangalore's new international airport to destinations within the city.
"The service will address the issue of airport connectivity for business travellers to the city and provide a convenient alternative to road travel," says the company, which has christened the new service Deccan SkyLimo.
Deccan, which began the Bangalore service with a Bell 206 and plans to add a second helicopter shortly, hopes to provide a direct connection for air passengers throughout India. It is investing almost $7 million to begin similar operations in Mumbai and Hyderabad with two helicopters in each city.
Bengaluru International airport, which is around 40km (25 miles) from the city, began operations in May. However, the infrastructure around it has not been developed yet and the journey to the city can take up to 50min in clogged roads. Deccan says that the SkyLimo, which will drop passengers off at three points, can cut that time by half.
The passengers will be charged Rp4,800-5,800 ($111-134), with each helicopter carrying up to eight people. The cost includes transport to the Deccan helipad, 1km away from the airport. The company says that it hopes to build a permanent helipad inside the airport eventually.
Deccan is primarily targeting professionals in the IT industry. Bangalore, India's IT hub, houses almost 1,700 international and Indian companies from the sector and has become a major global destination. Its airport now has about 350-400 flights a day, with up to 35,000 passengers flying in and out of the city daily.