Choppers will start operating the subsidised ude desh ka aam nagarik (Udaan) flights from this Saturday with a private company connecting Chamoli and Uttarkashi with Dehradun. Heritage Aviation will connect Sahastradhara (a helipad in Dehradun) with Chinyali Saur (in Uttarkashi) and Gauchar (in Chamoli) with two daily sorties each.
“We will be the first company to start Udaan flights using choppers. We have two twin-engine Agusta 109 choppers and will be using them for these flights. One-way fare for the 30-minute Sahastradhara-ChinyaliSaur journey will be Rs 3,320 and the 40-minute Sahastradhara-Gauchar journey will cost Rs 4,120.
Gauchar and ChinyaliSaur are eight and five-hour journey by road from Dehradun,” said Heritage Aviation CEO Rohit Mathur said, adding, “Uttarakhand CM T S Rawat and aviation secretary P S Kharola will flag off the first Udaan flights by chopper.”
Incidentally Heritage was the first company to start civilian Udaan flights to fix wing aircraft from IAF’s Hindon airbase last October. The government plans to have Udaan flights, which started in April 2017 with Alliance Air operating Delhi-Shimla route using their turboprops, on choppers and seaplanes.
Heritage Aviation website describes the Agusta 109 as “a fast, modern light twin-engine helicopter with a large, comfortable cabin and state-of-the-art cockpit.