Politicians go jet-set, for gods and voters | india | Hindustan Times
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Politicians go jet-set, for gods and voters

india Updated: Mar 20, 2009 00:08 IST
Samiran Saha

The jet-setters are not partying. They are out to get votes – and now can also stop to pray for their victory. Chartered flights, long considered a preserve of business tycoons, is now hot business with politicians in election season.

Consider the goodies —pre-paid fixed-hour options for wannabe “netas” and hops at pilgrimage centres, just in case they want God to be an ally.

To reach out the electorate and fast, airplane charters have become the most viable and affordable means of transport for candidates who are now readying themselves to face the voters next month.

“Fixed time charters are very popular. Several political parties have approached to explore plane charter options but we would not like to disclose who they are,” Mark Baier, chief executive officer, BJETS, a jet charter company told Hindustan Times.

Baier did not disclose how much it takes to charter a plane adding, “It is not for everyone.”

Baier said BJETS has also inked a pack with Global Vectra Helicorp, a helicopter charter company that would provide helicopters for places that are inaccessible by planes.

“We should have elections every year,” said Ed Van Dam, chief executive officer of Global Vectra Helcorp, adding that there are over 200 helicopters available for charter in India.

“Every one of them has been approached (by political parties) Dam said.

Global Vectra has a fleet of 29 helicopters of which 25 are engaged in offshore activities. “We have four helicopters for on shore use and if need be we will deploy more helicopters for elections,” Dam added.