Birsa Munda Airport where the flight from Jamshedpur will land at 12.18pm and depart again at 2.45pm six days a week
A three-hour road journey between the state capital and a steel city will soon be cut short to just 18 minutes.
Non-scheduled airline Sky Air, with its operational base in Jamshedpur, is likely to start air taxis to Ranchi sometime next week. The exact date of the first flight is yet to be finalised.
Besides the capital, Sky Air will also connect Jamshedpur with Calcutta and offer one-time ticket to passengers flying from the steel hub to Delhi via Ranchi.
The nine-seater aircraft will take off from Sonari airport at noon six days a week, except Sundays, and land at Birsa Munda Airport at 12.18pm. On the return journey, the flight is scheduled to depart at 2.45pm from the capital.
Calcutta-bound passengers will take a flight from Jamshedpur at 8am. The total flying time will be 45 minutes.
Sky Air officials said they would offer the “cheapest services”. The air fare from Jamshedpur to Ranchi has been priced at Rs 3,999 per person, while that for Calcutta has been fixed at Rs 6,999.
“We have rationally priced our tickets to ensure sustainability in the long run,” said Sky Air managing director Shahid Khan.
He added that those travelling from Jamshedpur to Delhi via Ranchi would have to buy a one-time ticket, priced between Rs12,000 and Rs16,000. “They will reach Ranchi within 18 minutes and our staff will help passengers board the other aircraft to Delhi,” Khan added.
Keeping in mind the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the airline will also launch a special charter service.
“Candidates willing to campaign in both Jamshedpur and Ranchi on a day will benefit from this service. Those who wish to hire this flight will have to shell out Rs 80,000 per flying hour and we will offer them complimentary beverage like hot coffee or milk,” Khan added.
The charter services will be available on all seven days.
Besides, Sky Air officials said they would also offer air ambulance facilities for patients who require immediate medical help.
At present, there is no air connectivity between Jamshedpur and Ranchi.
In 2011, Spirit Air — a charter airline — had started services from Jamshedpur, but it was grounded after two years owing to management problems and public disinterest.