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News Entry# 288469
  
Dec 13 2016 (09:11)  IRCTC suspends joyride bookings, to issue refunds (epaperbeta.timesofindia.com)
News Entry# 288469     
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Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has suspended bookings for helicopter joyrides from Juhu aerodrome following the crash of a chopper in Powai on Sunday and will refund those who have already booked their rides.
IRCTC had tied up with the private company , Aman Aviation, which provided the chopper that crashed on Sunday .The company would provide a US-made Robinson R-44 helicopter, which would carry up to three passengers at a time, for an aerial view of Mumbai.
Bookings for the helicopter service were initially suspen ded after a poor response
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in 2015, but again re-introduced by IRCTC in January 2016. The 15-minute Mumbai Darshan package offered a bird's eye view of the city , flying 1,000 feet above sea level.
IRCTC's regional director Arvind Malkhede said, “Following Sunday's crash, we have decided to stop bookings with immediate effect till further notice.“ Asked if they would withdraw the service permanently , he said, “As of now, there are no such plans. We will take a call soon on when to resume bookings for the service.“
He said IRCTC's role was limited to facilitating bookings.IRCTC said it received around 35-40 bookings per month.Malkhede said, “We will re fund the amount to those who were scheduled to fly in the coming days and weeks.“
The amount will be refunded within a day of the application being received, he added.
Another official said, “The resumption of this joyride service depends on how soon the company , with which we had a tie-up, comes to us for discussions.“
The packages were priced between Rs 2,955-4.750, depending on time and number of people. Since February 2016, IRCTC had received bookings from 350 passengers.
IRCTC had also planned to introduce a package to provide an aerial view of the forts of Maharashtra, but it failed to take off.
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