Mumbai (The Hindu): In a new year offering from the government, Mumbaikars and tourists can now get a spectacular aerial view of the city’s unique cityscape with Maharashtra government launching “Mumbai Darshan” helicopter flights from next week.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) and Pawan Hans Ltd, have inked an agreement to start chopper rides over Mumbai from January 7.
Officials said the helicopter rides will be operated in Bell-206 L4 choppers that can seat six passengers besides the pilot. “Flights will take off from Pawan Hans’ airport at Juhu and fly north, keeping to the city’s west to ensure that these flights do not interfere with the existing air traffic to and from Mumbai airport,” an official said.
MTDC and Pawan Hans have agreed upon a base formula of Rs. 320 per minute excluding taxes, but inaugural flights will be discounted and will cost Rs. 3,200 per person for a 10-minute flight. Two choppers will be deployed to ferry passengers.
Paraag Jaiin Nainuttia, Managing Director of MTDC, said: “Mumbai has an amazing skyline. There are many tourists’ spots which look outstanding from the sky. The idea is to provide an enthralling experience to the tourists and boost potential tourism in the State.”
Mr. Nainuttia said though initially the chopper rides will be restricted to Mumbai, MTDC will gradually expand to other popular tourist locations like Matheran, Ajanta-Ellora in Aurangabad, Murud-Janjira and other Konkan beaches, and the Tadoba-Andheri wildlife reserve near Nagpur.
This is the second time MTDC has explored aerial views to boost tourism. Earlier in October 2013, MTDC had launched the hot air balloon safari during the tourist season in Lonavala.
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