Helicopter services between Chandigarh and Shimla may again be started in the year 2015-2016 as Himachal Govt. eagerly awaits air travel connectivity for the state to boost tourism.
Shimla being the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and one of the most popular tourist spot in North India is only connected through road. Tourists visiting Shimla from Delhi and other parts have to go through Chandigarh. However, Chandigarh is well connected to various Indian cities through road, rail and air but Shimla and Chandigarh are only connected by road. The toy train for Shimla is also available only from Kalka and people from Chandigarh have to make it to Kalka in order to board the train.
Chandigarh Shimla helicopter service known as heli-taxi was started in 2010 but was soon grounded due to lack of response. A major factor which led to the poor response was the high air fare between Chandigarh and Shimla. One way ticket for travelling to Shimla from Chandigarh by a helicopter was priced at Rs. 4500. Thus a round trip would cost Rs. 9000 per person. If we compare this price with the other air fares being provided by air planes across India, then the helicopter fare between Chandigarh and Shimla was way too high.
This time, Himachal Govt. is working on the issue of high air fare between Chandigarh and Shimla and it would also be promoting air travel in Himachal Pradesh so that more people travel by air.
Himachal Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh announced that the government has reduced the rate of tax on aviation turbine fuel for airlines from 27% to 1%. This would definitely bring down the cost of helicopter air fare from Chandigarh to Shimla. He also announced that new heli-pads would be made in Shimla to felicitate the helicopter service.