Saturday, June 27, 2009

Indian Air Taxi services from July 1 from Patna

PATNA: Fliers willing to avail chartered plane services in Bihar have now an option. Private carrier Spirit Air has decided to launch charted flight
services, christened `Indian Air Taxi' from Patna from July 1.

To begin with, airlines sources said, the service would be offered to destinations having functional airports. "As it is a chartered service, destination is to be decided by the customer, but the only pre-requisite is existence of a functional airport at the destination as one has to adhere to aviation rules for landing and take off of an aircraft," said a Spirit Air official.

A Cessna-172 Sky Hawk aircraft, which would have the capacity to carry three passengers apart from the pilot, would be offered to the passengers. The aircraft can fly for seven hours non-stop. "In case someone opts for a destination which needs more than seven hours of flying, the flight would hop at a suitable place for re-fuelling," said the official.

Those opting for the services would have to pay something between Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 per flying hour. Rates for flying idle hours would be Rs 12,000 per hour for the first two hours and Rs 9,500 per hour for next three hours.

The private carrier had earlier announced that it would offer air taxi services to major district towns of Bihar and Jharkhand as well, but for now those willing to travel to these places by air would have to wait.

Reason being non-availability of security, fire tenders and ambulance at the airstrips in districts which the Spirit Air wants to connect with Patna and Ranchi. These three basic facilities are a must, according to the civil aviation rules, at the time of landing and take off of an aircraft from air strips, which do not fall under any airport.

Spirit Air had earlier written letters to both the state governments asking them to provide these facilities in the districts which have airstrips, but a positive reply is still awaited.

"Our team would once again meet senior officials of Bihar and Jharkhand requesting them to consider our proposal as people in districts too would like to avail the service which is first of its kind in these two states," said the Sprit Air official.

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