Singapore. Within minutes of using an app to book a ride, Agostino Fernandes was looking down on lush greenery from a helicopter taxi high above Bangalore -- one of several Uber-style chopper services taking off to help commuters tackle increasingly congested megacities.
In under 30 minutes -- a quarter of the time it would have taken from downtown Bangalore by road -- Fernandes was strolling through Kempegowda International Airport to his gate.
“It’s much better than the usual car or taxi because it saves time,” he told AFP.
“And for a city like Bangalore, which they call India’s green capital because of the parks and gardens, you get a very nice view.”
From New York to Jakarta, chopper-hailing services have been taking off to help commuters beat the traffic chaos.
Private helicopter charters have been available for decades -- at a price -- but the latest services are far cheaper and more accessible to the public, allowing anyone with a smartphone and a credit card to order a ride with relative ease.
Sameer Rehman, Asia-Pacific managing director of Bell Helicopter, said chopper manufacturers were predicting more such services in traffic-clogged parts of Southeast Asia in particular, describing it as an “important testbed” for the wider region. (AFP)