Kingfisher Airlines plans to offer helicopter ferry services to airports in Bangalore and Mumbai for its first- and business-class passengers, helping them to avoid congested roads in the two overcrowded Indian cities.

The airline is in talks with helicopter manufacturers, including Eurocopter, and operators about the service. It has not decided if it will buy and operate these helicopters by itself, or tender the service out to a third party.

“The distance and the time taken to the airport sometimes exceeds the flight time. So I think guests on Kingfisher First, and maybe Kingfisher Class, will also appreciate the helicopter service, which would save a lot of time and hassle,” says Kingfisher chief executive Vijay Mallya.

The service is unlikely to be available for economy-class passengers, says the airline. First and business class passengers who opt for the service will have to pay 20-30% more than the cost of their flight. Operations are likely to begin in mid-2007, with around four pick-up points in India’s commercial capital Mumbai.

Source: Flight International