Riding through bumpy and curvy roads to hill stations can be an exhausting experience, especially for those from low altitude areas or metro cities. Apart from the time such journeys take, long-distance driving in mountainous areas can be troublesome for many. Shimla in Himachal Pradesh that features in everyone’s places-to-covered-in-life list is one such destination. The serpentine roads and time constraints can, sometimes, pose obstacles for travellers. But not anymore. The Himachal Pradesh government on Monday launched a helicopter taxi service from Shimla to Chandigarh, a journey that will take not more than just 20 minutes between the cities. The service is expected to boost heli texi tourism in the state, and in future could be expanded to other tourist areas as well.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur flagged off the Shimla-Chandigarh heli taxi service from the Jubbarhatti Airport near the hill station. “The Queen of Hills, being one of the leading travel destinations, would now be connected through heli taxi service from Chandigarh. We would try to connect other cities of the state through the service in future,” said Thakur.
He said that the service would give a boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UDAN scheme and his vision of giving common man a chance to fly. Along with that, it would certainly give a boost to Himachal’s tourism prospects, he added.
So why should one avail the heli taxi service? The 113-km journey between the two cities usually takes over three hours by car, over four hours by bus and over five hours by train. The heli taxi service, launched in association with Pawan Hans Ltd, will be available on Mondays and Fridays for a minimum price of Rs 2,999.
The service has been launched to specially cater to the people of Himachal, Punjab and Haryana. The heli taxi service would also be useful for people who want to go to the Queen of Hills but don’t want to take bus or train. It will be a 20-minute morning flight between the two destinations. The chopper will take off from Shimla at 8 am and reach Chandigarh at 8.20 am. For passengers planning their journey from Chandigarh to Shimla, the flight will take off at 9 am from Chandigarh airport and reach Shimla at 9.20 am. For convenience of the travelers, HPTDC Deluxe Bus will be available at Jubberhatti Airport and at Lift, Shimla.
Initially, the services would be available every Monday and Friday. The frequency would be increased depending on response to the services.
Points to remember for the Shimla-Chandigarh Heli Taxi Service
- The travelling time for one side will be 20 minutes.
- The service to be available on every Monday and Friday.
- Departure from Jubberhatti, Shimla Airport, at 8 am and arrival time at Chandigarh Airport at 8:20 am.
- Departure time from Chandigarh Airport will be 9 am and arrival time at Jubberhatti, Shimla Airport, at 9:20 am.
- HPTDC Deluxe Bus will be available at Jubberhatti Airport and at Lift Shimla.
- Luggage allowed per passenger is 10 kg. Extra luggage is chargeable.
How to Book the Heli Taxi Service?
- For online booking, go to pawanhans.co.in or hptdc.in and click on heli taxi service.
- For information regarding the service contact HPTDC (Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department Corporation) marketing office in Shimla (Contact: 0177-2658302, 2652561) or HPTDC marketing office in New Delhi (011-23325320, 23324764) or HPTDC marketing office in Chandigarh (0172- 2707267.