Helicopter service from Bangalore airport to Electronic City replaces the 2-hour drive with a 15-minute flight
Bangalore’s much-awaited heli taxi service finally launched early on the morning of Monday, 5 March, with a flight from Bangalore International Airport to Electronic City. Thumby Aviation, the company that operates the service—called HeliTaxii—told CNT that one Bell 407 helicopter has been deployed to fly passengers from Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport to Electronic City, Phase 1. The chopper will cover the distance that takes two hours by road in just 15 minutes. HeliTaxii also plans to start operations from HAL “soon”, and will add a 13-seater Bell 412 helicopter when demand picks up “in the near future”.
Bangalore heli taxi timings and helipad location
While the schedule for the flights is flexible, the heli taxi will operate in two shifts, for now. The flights are timed to peak business hours. There will be an average of three round-trips between Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) and Electronic City from 6.30am to 9.45am and another three round-trips from 3.15pm to 6.00pm. The four-blade, single-engine Bell 407 chopper to be used as a heli taxi can seat up to six people. You can also fly during the day between these two slots, though you will have to charter the entire chopper for it.
The helipad at Bangalore airport is located on Secondary Access Road, near Blue Dart Warehouse. At Electronic City Phase 1, the helipad is on ITI land, behind C-DOT building.
Ticket prices for the Bangalore heli taxi
Tickets for the heli taxi are priced at Rs4,130 per seat (Rs3,500 + GST). It includes the drive from the Bangalore airport terminal to the helipad on the premises. It also includes luggage up to 15kg (10kg check-in + 5kg carry-on; dimensions: 40cm x 25cm x 20cm). Anything over that can be shipped over ground at extra cost through CarterPorter, a third-party logistics service.
For corporates, HeliTaxii is offering an inaugural promo fare of Rs2,950 (Rs2,500 + GST) per seat. For many companies, this may work out to be cheaper than car rentals for its executives, not to mention the time saved.
You can also charter the helicopter if you are flying between 10am and 3pm. Fares will be based on dynamic pricing, though the inaugural fare is fixed at Rs35,400, inclusive of taxes, for six seats.
How to book the Bangalore heli taxi
There are four ways to book your seat on the heli taxi:
Through the HeliTaxii mobile app (Android/iOS). You can use this to pre-book a seat days ahead of the actual flight. Use the ‘Fly Later’ option, choose the flight you’re coming in on, and add your pick-up/drop details (Bangalore airport/Electronic City). Add luggage information, select the number of seats and complete the payment through a link that will be sent to your email.
You can also book yourself a seat on arriving at the Bangalore International Airport. There’s a HeliTaxii ticketing counter at the Arrivals hall.
Call the 24×7 Customer Care number: +91-09400399999
Please note that for departures from Bangalore airport, you need to book your seat from at least four hours in advance. For departures from Electronic City, you can book it up to 1 hour before the flight.
More flights coming soon
“We will soon be looking at expanding to offer our services to several destinations,” Govind Nair, director, business development at Thumby Aviation, told CNT. Next on the cards are helicopter flights between HAL Airbase and Whitefield. “If all goes to plan, you could soon set off on a weekend getaway to Chikmagalur or Wayanad on a heli taxi.”
The Bangalore heli taxi project is an ambitious venture to cut travel time between the airport and the city to start with, and later within the city. The government has said that it plans to open up as many as 90 helipads across Bangalore, though only the one at ITC Royal Gardenia on Residency Road has been cleared by the DGCA so far. Even so, the Bangalore helicopter taxi service finally taking off is good news, especially for bleary-eyed business travellers who routinely have to wake up at 3am for their 7am flights.
* For guests with restricted mobility, Heli Taxi can arrange for a wheelchair between the airport terminal and helipad.