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The first thing one needs to understand the helicopter service in Sikkim is that it is not a pure tourist service. The available helicopter also supports other services such as emergency evacuation, medical requirement, disaster management support etc. Hence in case of urgent requirement, tourist transport is not the highest in the priority of this service. So there can be occasional cancellation for your pre-booked helicopter ride in case there is any other more important engagement the helicopter need to support.
There are two types of Helicopter service popular in Sikkim. One is the flight from Bagdogra Airport to Pakyong Airport and the other is the joy ride around Sikkim.
Till the inauguration of the Pakyong Airport in 2018, Sikkim did not have any airfield and Bagdogra airport in the neighboring West Bengal was the nearest. Since Bagdogra is a good 5 hours drive from Sikkimese capital Gangtok, many visitors used to fly into Bagdogra and take the 30 minutes helicopter ride to Gangtok.
With the opening of Pakyong Airport, this need has reduced. However Bagdogra still remains the major hub of tourist transport compared to much smaller and much fewer flights to Pakyong, hence the helicopter ferry still remains an important requirement.
During the low season, the flight may be canceled for a variety of reasons including non-availability of passengers. During the peak season though, the helicopter makes several sorties as there is a huge demand for the flight.
The Mountain flight is also a popular way to visit the mountains of Sikkim. Regular mountain flights are now done away with and the flights are mostly flown now on a chartered basis. The charges are on a per minute of flying time basis. Also, the charges for high altitude flight going towards North-Sikkim, Kanchenjunga and its vicinity is higher compared to flight charges for South and East Sikkim area.
As of 2019, the flight tariff for chartered flight is about 1000 to 1200 per minute of flying time. 4 person can be taken on the flight together. For standard itineraries such as Gangtok City tour, Chardham tour etc, the tariff is fixed and is slightly lower. The tariff for Bagdogra Pakyong flight service stood at 3500 as in 2019. Kindly note that the tariff given above are only suggestive and please consult our travel experts for the updated tariff.
We can pre-arrange helicopter service in your Tour package for Sikkim as per the Following service charges: Regular Flights (IXB-GTK or GTK to IXB) 10% service charge on per tickets. Charted Flights-3% service charge on total billing amount. In case of cancellation the refundable amount would be as per STDC norms and procedure, however, the service charges will not be refunded.
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