Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur on Monday flagged off a helicopter taxi service between Shimla and Chandigarh which reduces the travel time to just 20 minutes. The service, operated by Pawan Hans helicopter, will be available on Mondays and Fridays and the fare has been fixed at Rs 2,999.
The chopper took off from Shimla airport at Jubbarhatti at 8 am and reached Chandigarh at 8:20 am. It then made the return journey from Chandigarh airport at 9 am and reached Shimla at 9:20 am.
Talking to The Indian Express, Additional chief secretary of Himachal Ram Subhag Singh said, “60 per cent seats for the first month have been sold, few flights are full.”
The government is planning to introduce more such flights in the future depending on the public response, he added. “Connectivity is key to tourism, in near future under Udaan-II, we plan to cover more such tourist spots, then even more by next five to six months,” Singh said.
“In the beginning, the service will be available every Monday and Friday. The frequency will be increased depending upon the response from the passengers,” said Pawan Hans in a statement.
“The 20-seater chopper service has been launched in the state in a bid to boost heli tourism,” added Pawan Hans.
It takes four hours to travel from Chandigarh to Shimla by road. The hill station, largely frequented by tourists on weekends, has been reeling under acute water shortage.