If the potholed roads of Mumbai are preventing you from heading to see your favourite city sights and monuments, here’s an option worth exploring. Just take a 30-mintue helicopter tour of the city and see it in a way that is unlike what you’ve seen before.
Of course, deep wallets are a must if you’re thinking of green-lighting this aerial adventure, as the ride could set you back by Rs 10,000 per person. Offered by Airnetz Aviation, these tours have been open to the public for the last three months and have already had 50 takers.
“With the rise in disposable income, people want new experiences in life. So those who want to celebrate their 10th anniversary or a birthday are the most likely to join in on this tour and make it a day to remember,” says Sapandan Tolia, who heads New Verticals, an organisation that is marketing these tours with Groffr.com.
The rides are organised on the three-seater Robinson 44 helicopter and takers are allowed to make their own tour itinerary. “But of course, the pilot’s and ATC’s final call is the one that counts. There are some areas in Mumbai that are restricted and clear weather is also a must while flying. It is only if the course chosen meets all these criteria that a flying clearance is given,” says Ameya Gore, spokesperson of Airnetz Aviation, adding that favourite routes include the one to south Mumbai via Bandra-Worli Sea Link and the one to Virar via the Pagoda at Gorai.
In the monsoon, there are other precautions as well. “We only fly when the weather is clear. So during season, tours may be rescheduled to days when the sun is out or there are fewer clouds. Also, if the situation is very bad, a full refund is given,” says Gore. Interestingly, in the non-monsoon season, they also offer group packages every weekend.
At this time, a 20-minute ride costs an individual Rs 7,500. “We run these rides back-to-back, so it makes things financially viable for us as well as the customers,” says Gore.