Helicopter service launched for pilgrims in Kochi

Kochi, Oct.10: A heli- taxi services have been launched in Kochi to ferry pilgrims to the famous hill shrine at Sabarimala and other pilgrim centers in Kerala.

The helicopter services will be operated from Kochi to Nilekkal (the foothills of Sabarimala) and to Saramkuthiyal, a religious spot.

Though, the first flight could not take off due to heavy rain, the official launch was held by airlifting the helicopter by a few meters.

"Today we have launched the heli- taxi services to Nilekkal. It is just the beginning for religious tourism in Kerala and subsequently we are sure we will be able to take handicapped and not privileged people to even Sabarimala top," said Colonel (retired) Sasikumar, Director, Bharath Airways Private Limited.

This helicopter is going to be operating from Cochin (Kochi) International Airport and it will be a non-scheduled operation, that is on demand basis. Advantage of this operation is that any passenger coming to Cochin airport can reach the foothills of Sabarimala, that is Nilekkal, withouit wasting any time" he added.

Initially, the Bell Helicopter, having five passenger seats, would be used. The flying time from Kochi to Nilekkal is expected to be 30 minutes.

The helicopter can operate approximately for 30 hrs in a month, and is hoping to take a minimum of 150 passengers to various locations in the State.

Copyright Asian News International/DailyIndia.com