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Himachal ties up with three helicopter taxi operators

Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Monday that the government has signed an agreement with three operators of helicopter taxis and identified routes and fixed air fares to boost tourism.
‘A memorandum of understanding has been signed with three companies to provide interstate and intrastate heli-taxi services. This will boost tourism in the state and enable the tourists to visit landlocked areas and destinations in a short span of time,’ Dhumal, who also holds the portfolio of tourism, said in the state assembly.
He said Mesco Airlines Limited would operate heli-taxis on 19 routes.
‘The one-way fare between Shimla and Chandigarh has been fixed at Rs.4,500, whereas it would be Rs.7,500 between Shimla and Dharamsala and Rs.6,000 between Shimla and Kullu,’ he said.Dhumal said the fare on 28 routes ranging from Rs.2,000 to Rs.13,000 has been finalised by the state tourism department.The two other heli-taxi firms are Simm Samm Airways Pvt Ltd and Shiva Heli Services.The tourism department has identified 57 helipads in the state that could be made functional for the heli-taxi service.Himachal Pradesh, known for its apples and picture-perfect tourist spots, attracted 11,437,155 tourists, including 400,583 foreigners, last year.Kullu and Manali are tourist hotspots, followed by Shimla and Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

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