Fri, 05 Apr 2013 07:00:00 GMT | By Rekha Suresh Kumar, IANS

Chopper rides offer bird's eye view of Kolkata

Visitors to Kolkata can now treat themselves to a helicopter ride across the city.

Chopper rides offer bird's eye view of Kolkata (© Reuters)

A horse-cart passes in front of the Queen Victoria Memorial in Kolkata.

Now tourists to Kolkata can enjoy a glimpse of the city and its iconic spots such as the Victoria Memorial and Howrah Bridge from the sky -- courtesy helicopter joyrides.

"We have got a Bell 407 helicopter which will take tourists and enthusiasts on a 10-minute ride over the city," an official of a private operator said Friday.

"They can see spots like the Howrah Bridge, Victoria Memorial and the Hooghly river," Manas Kumar Goswami, chief engineer of Prayag Aviation, told IANS.

Priced at Rs.2,000 per person, the 'Kolkata Darshan Package' will allow national and international tourists to breeze across the city skyline at a height of 600 to 1,000 feet in a six-seater helicopter that will take off from the Behala Flying Club in the city's south.

"Depending on the number of bookings, we will decide the number of times the chopper will ply," Goswami said.

Prayag Aviation, a business unit of Prayag Group, will also start charter services for destinations such as sea resorts of Digha and Mondarmoni and the world's largest mangrove forest the Sunderbans, besides places in the north-east.

"We are non-scheduled operators. So we can fly anywhere according to demand," said Goswami.

For foreign tourists, services to Bagdogra in Assam and other places will also be made available.

Targetting pilgrims, the charter services will also take devotees to places such as Tarapith and Mayapur in West Bengal. The base price for charter rides is Rs.90,000 per hour.

The group plans to purchase another chopper and a fixed-wing aircraft (B200) in the coming months.


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