East coast becomes a hot destination for heli flights


Against a backdrop of increasing economic activity in all parts of the country, domestic airlines such as Deccan Aviation reports a significant increase in domestic flights to the North and East.

The company revealed that the average sector flying time is on the rise with more flights being taken to the East coast; Trincomalee, Pasikuda and Arugam Bay top the list of hot destinations. With over 180 established helipads in the country, helicopter charters are becoming an essential travel option to both business and leisure travellers.

"In this day and age, business travellers look for something extra, cruising at 160 km per hour with a range of 480km, helicopters allow guests to make multiple visits and return back the same day avoiding the stress associated with travelling by road and the extra cost of accommodation" said Denham Schokman CEO of Deccan Aviation Lanka.

Deccan has been the sole internal air option for both Leisure and corporate clients over the past 6 years operating to all parts of the country.

"Our guests get to land directly at their site, this is a utility unmatched by any plane, all we need is a 15 x 15 m obstruction free space, it could be a private property a municipal council/school ground or even a beach front"

The typical client profile can range from an investor team visiting a potential project site, real estate brokers hunting for property, a production company capturing footage to develop a documentary on Sri Lanka to leisure travellers seeking to indulge in some of the best beaches in the world. Typically, once they land, corporate guests tend to spend few hours on ground before they return back to Colombo, Deccan Aviation provides a complete end-to-end service from ground transportation to arranging local guides.

The company recently introduced a helicopter schedule service connecting the International airport with major tourist destinations in the south coast.

" We see a lot of opportunity to extend our schedule to the east coast especially during the season, definite plans are underway to induct a 8 seat fixed wing aircraft which is scheduled to be in Sri Lanka early 2011 in time for the season’.

The new service is set to completely disrupt the pricing of air travel, enabling passengers to fly within Sri Lanka at a cost less than travelling by road.

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