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HindustanTimes Fri,01 Aug 2014

City’s elderly couples plan to spend V-Day in the skies

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 03, 2013
First Published: 01:20 IST(3/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:22 IST(3/2/2013)

Dadar resident Ishant Devadiga was unable to plan a surprise for his parents’ 25th wedding anniversary last year. But Ishant, a goods distributor, will make up for it by buying them a date amidst the clouds on February 14, Valentine’s Day.

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His parents, Indar Devadiga, 55, and Rajrani, 52, who have never flown in a helicopter, would be among the several couples celebrating Valentine’s Day in the skies over the city. “I can’t wait to see their faces after the ride,” said Ishant.

Although aerial joy rides along the city’s coastline have become a Valentine’s Day rage over the past few years, chopper operators claim that majority of the takers this year are elderly couples such as the Devadigas.

“Until last year, most of the bookings came from young couples or newlyweds. Now its young professionals buying tours for their parents,” said Ameya Gore, spokesperson Airnetz Aviation ltd, a Vile Parle-based private charter company.

In 2009, Airnetz flew just four couples, but this year, they have already received bookings for 26 sorties. The 20-minute tours start from Juhu aerodrome and give a bird’s eye view of the city.

Bookings have also picked up because operators have created custom-made sorties for Valentine’s Day and slashed rates accordingly.

“I had enquired about a ride earlier, but the price quoted was more than double of what I spent now,” said Vidyasagar Pillai, an Andheri resident. Pillai, a marketing executive with a pharma company, paid Rs.10,000 for a ride.

Due to the rush, some operators are planning to book slots for another day. “We have received 20 bookings including bookings from corporates,” said another chopper company.


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