Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hiring helicopters and private planes sees steady rise among commoners

About five times a month, Airlogic Aviation Solutions, a charter flight company in New Delhi, gets bookings from villagers in Sirohi and Jalore in Rajasthan. They book planes and helicopters to fly over newly constructed Jain temples and shower flowers over these places of worship.
Ahmedabad-based businessman Sunil Patel booked a helicopter last month and joined a set of like-minded people, including some villagers, to shower flowers on the Ramdev temple in Peepligaon, Gujarat. Patel believes that the gods need to be appeased in all ways.

Hiring planes and helicopters is no longer the preserve of politicians or the rich and famous. In the smaller towns and the villages, chartering aircraft has become a status symbol.

To shower flowers on temples from the skies, a helicopter usually takes four passengers at a time. They carry 10-12 kg of flowers with them, which are released from open windows above the temple. The seats are sold for Rs 25,000 for those who want to ride first and cost Rs 15,000 for the third or fourth ride of the day. "This has become common and we have seen our business grow four times in the last few years," said Manish Dhiman, director of Airlogic Aviation, which started four years ago.
26/03/16 Devina Sengupta/Economic Times
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