Shimla: The travel distance between the popular Himachal Pradesh hill station and Chandigarh was reduced to just 20 minutes with the launch of a heli-taxi service on Monday.
The state government, in association with helicopter service operator Pawan Hans Ltd, launched a to-and-fro heli-taxi service on the Chandigarh-Shimla route, cutting down the previous four-hour travel time.
Heli services launched today from Shimla-Chandigarh-SHIMLA sector with 18 pax on board from Shimla. CMD, PawanHans honouring Hon'ble CM, Himachal and flag off the 1st ride. A new beginning . pic.twitter.com/X9KhyQ8LQ2
— Pawan Hans Ltd (@PawanHansLtd) June 4, 2018
Each sortie, with 19 passengers on board, will charge a minimum fare of Rs 2,999 per person. It will initially ply twice a week, Monday and Friday.
The helicopter will take off from Shimla's airport at Jubbarhatti at 8 am, and reach the Chandigarh International Airport at 8.20 am.
Similarly, from Chandigarh to Shimla the flight will take off at 9 am, and reach Shimla at 9.20 am, an official with Pawan Hans said.
He said the frequency of the heli-taxi service would be increased depending on the response of the passengers.
It takes a minimum of four hours to travel between Shimla and Chandigarh by road.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur flagged off the first service from Shimla. He said this would greatly help to boost the tourism industry in the state.
“The government is also planning to start a heli-taxi service between Chandigarh and Manali, and a sortie service from Manali to the majestic Rohtang Pass,” an official said.
Members of the tourism industry are elated as they are hopeful that high-end tourists, especially foreigners and business travellers, will prefer to visit the state capital and its nearby destinations by flights.
"We are hopeful that the heli-taxi service will give boost to the tourism industry," D.P. Bhatia, liaison officer with Shimla-based Oberoi Group of hotels, said.
Updated Date: Jun 04, 2018 11:31 AM