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Beijing launches whirlybird tours

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-08 09:00

The tourism helicopter flies over the Bird's Nest, the main venue of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. [Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

"We sold over 300 tickets on the first day," Lyu says.

The company has developed six low-altitude tourism flights in Tianjin, and Shandong, Anhui and Henan provinces.

Most hover over scenic spots.

"Customer numbers are increasing thanks to increasing incomes and the desire for unique travel experiences," Lyu explains.

The number of customers increased by 170 percent last year, the company says.

About 10,000 travelers took the flight over Henan's Songshan Mountain for the first eight months since it opened at the end of 2016.

Flights over Hubei province's Wudan Mountains, Shanxi province's Yanmenguan and Wutai Mountain, Shaanxi province's Huashan Mountain and Shandong province's Taishan Mountain are slated to start soon.

The company will also launch a Winter Olympics route, Lyu says.

Its Beijing helicopters will also be used for medical emergencies downtown, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development says.

China had 345 general aviation enterprises as of June 30, 2017. The number has grown about 10 percent annually. And 21 helicopter-tourism routes in 14 provinces were launched in the second half of 2017, including five in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

The country hosts 311 general-aviation aerodromes, and the number is expected to exceed 500 by 2020 and 2,000 by 2030, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China's 2016-20 plan.


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