If you are willing to burn Rs. 20,000 in an hour, you can soar above the city.
Airnetz, a city-based private charter plane company, has begun offering a service called ‘Joyride’ from January 1 that will take tourists on a one-hour trip over the city.
On offer are two tours aboard a Robinson44 chopper – an American helicopter with four seats You can either fly along the Juhu coast all the way to Boisar or travel above the Mahalakshmi Race Course, Colaba all the way to Alibag and back.
“In year-long market research conducted last year we learnt about budding demand for this kind of a service,” said Atul Khekade, chief executive officer, Airnetz. “Tourists want to have aerial trip of Maximum City. The service is mainly targeted at foreign visitors since such joy rides are common in America, Europe, Australia and Singapore.”
Currently available only in the city, the fun ride will eventually also be available in Goa, Kerala, Daman and Diu.
Despite the global economic slowdown and the 26/11 terrorist attack, which have combined to hurt tourism, people are making
bookings for this service. In the past two weeks, travel agencies retailing this service have made 10 bookings. Many more are calling agencies to get information.
“It is low season, but we get two enquiries daily,” said Santosh Thomas, area manager of Riya Travels, a travel agency vending the service. “It is an expensive tour but we have got five to six bookings this month.”
Some well-heeled Mumbaiites are also showing an interest. “There was a group of travellers sceptical about flying. However, they took the joyride and enjoyed the experience,” said Khekade.
Bhavin Toprani, marketing manager of the Indialight, an inbound tour operator that largely caters to corporate travellers from abroad feels it is potential market the service well.
“This segment is free over the weekends and has the purchasing power. We arranged joy rides for three of our top notch clients last week,” he said.