To boost heli tourism in Karnataka, helicopter transport firm BLADE has launched its scheduled by-the-seat services on Bengaluru-Coorg and Bengaluru-Kabini routes in the state.
Coorg, also known as Kodagu, and Kabini are two top tourist destinations in the state that have access to helicopter services. The Indian subsidiary of US-based helicopter transport firm BLADE first entered the state in December 2020 with its weekend private charter services.
“With the launch of the services on the two routes, travel time to the two cities from Bengaluru which is the state capital will be reduced from 6-7 hours by road at present,” the company said.
Amit Dutta, MD, BLADE India, said, “Karnataka boasts of some of the most beautiful destinations in the country. However, their accessibility is a pain point. 6-7 hours of road travel from Bengaluru eat into the precious time that travellers could otherwise spend enjoying their holiday. BLADE mitigates this pain with an hour’s seamless experience.”
According to the firm, it aims to connect congested and inaccessible surface routes in the country through an efficient air transport system and provide an all-around holistic experience through its baggage and ground transfers and partner benefits.
The company has also tied up with Evolve Back Resorts to enable customers to book their flight and stay at once; land at the property directly in an hour and be more accessible.
BLADE India, a joint venture between BLADE Urban Air Mobility Inc, headquartered in New York, and New Delhi-based venture capital firm Hunch Ventures, started operations in Maharashtra in 2019.
According to the company website, the trip from Jakkur aerodrome in Bengaluru to Coorg costs Rs 16,000 per seat.
Meanwhile, in June 2021, the Karnataka Tourism Department got approval from the Youth and Sports Services department and Airport Authority of India (AII) to use Jakkur aerodrome and five other airstrips for heli-tourism purposes.
The state government was planning to use Jakkur for landing and take-off purposes. The department is also planning a circuit for tourists to take helicopters to Goa, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Kerala.