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Thiruvananthapuram, May 26

Deccan Aviation Ltd has started helicopter services in Kerala from its new base in Thiruvananthapuram.

Announcing the launch of the company's helicopter charter services in the State, Mr K.J. Samuel, Director, said that the company would initially operate chartered helicopter flights from Thiruvananthapuram to various tourist destinations in Kerala, including Kovalam, Kumarakom, Munnar and Thekkady.

Speaking to newspersons on Friday, he said that the company's helicopter services would eventually cover more tourist destinations in the State.

The company will station a Bell 206 L3 helicopter, capable of seating up to six passengers, at its new base in Thiruvananthapuram, he said.

Besides tourism-related activities, the helicopter will also be available for use in medical evacuations and for corporate charters, he added.

With the opening of its new base in Thiruvananthapuram, the company now has stations in eight locations across the country.

According to a company official, it plans to add two more bases one each in Chennai and Srinagar in the near future.

Deccan Aviation, which currently has 10 helicopters and two fixed-wing aircraft, is looking at expanding its fleet, Mr Samuel said.

The company is likely to acquire 2-3 helicopters over the next few months and will also acquire a couple of business jets by March next year.

Mr B. Suman, Director, Kerala Tourism, who was also present on the occasion, said that Kerala offers opportunities for helicopter services targeted at tourists.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 27, 2006)
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