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Chopper joyrides on offer for Valentine’s Day

NAGPUR: A city-based travel company is offering a unique opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day you’re your loved ones: on a chopper. For Rs 6,000, you can take a 15-minute aerial tour of the city while for Rs 10,000 you get a half-hour tour till Ramtek and Khindsi.

Cenin Travels Private Ltd has introduced this two-day offer (February 13 and 14) for  Valentine’s Day celebrations. The first day of the offer evoked a lukewarm response, with only five passengers from two families booking the trip. Vilas Joshi, general manager, Cenin Travels, said, “Usually, it takes time for people to try out anything new. This is a new concept hence people will think twice before trying it out.” Two of the passengers in Sunday’s trip were Joshi’s wife and son.

However, Cenin Travels said they have had numerous phone enquiries, with 10 confirmed passengers for the Ramtek-Khindsi tour on Valentine’s Day. In this half-hour tour, passengers will get to see a panoramic view of Nagpur city and the nearby tourist attractions of Ramtek and Khindsi.

On Sunday, Manish Kurjekar took his wife Harsha and three-year-old daughter for the city tour. “It was amazing to see the sights which we see from the road umpteen times,” said Kurjekar. Viewing Crazy Castle near Ambazari and Deekshabhoomi grounds was the highlight of their tour, added Kurjekar, who is in the construction business. His wife Harsha says, “This is the best Valentine’s Day gift I have received in our six-year-long marriage.”

Joshi said it usually costs Rs 1.20 lakhs per hour to hire a chopper, which carries a maximum of six passengers. “But our effort now is not about making money. This is just an introductory offer being given for two days. We want people to be able to enjoy these aerial tours for a reasonable price,” Joshi said. The chopper service operates from Nagpur airport at Sonegaon. Passengers have to go through all the security checks and measures just like other commercial airline passengers.

“We had been planning this concept for a long time. We called up many charter companies in Delhi and Mumbai, but it did not materialise due to their unreasonable demands. Later, we were approached by an air charter company, and we decided to go ahead,” Joshi said. In the future, his company plans to offer air taxi services from Nagpur to nearby cities for both business and pleasure.

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