Helicopter tours to boost China’s aircraft industry

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/2 18:13:39

A model helicopter at the Reignwood Star office Photo: Courtesy of Reignwood Star

The first helicopter sightseeing tourism route in Beijing's urban area was officially opened for business on January 1 under the theme A New Era and A New Journey - Beijing from Above.

Operated by Chinese aviation company Reignwood Star, the service marks a new era in the normalization, popularization and diversification of helicopter travel in China.

Before, the aircraft industry in China mainly served the social services sector, providing aircraft for police patrols, water inspections, medical aid and other social services.

Helicopter sightseeing tours will further diversify the industry by expanding its reach into China's growing tourism sector. With the introduction of new policies and the gradual opening up of low-level airspace, the time is right for the development of commercial helicopter services.

Although the aircraft industry and helicopter tourism are relatively new in China compared with that of developed European countries and the US, there is enormous potential for growth. Helicopter tourism can significantly boost the diversification of the aircraft industry in China and help showcase an alternative view of the country.

Already, there are more than 130 low-level airspace routes in China, but only a few are in operation. Therefore, normalizing, popularizing and diversifying the aircraft industry through tourism has the potential to not only use these underutilized routes but also to significantly boost the sector.

"Some companies are eager to acquire quick success and profits, so the market is not very attractive to them, but we can see that the benefits are not just for our company but the industry as a whole," said Lü Gang, the deputy general manager of Reignwood Star.

It is well-acknowledged that helicopter tourism has at lot of room for further development in China, and Chinese investors are taking steps to capitalize on the gradual opening up of low-level airspace to small commercial aircrafts and China's thriving tourism industry.

In 2017, Reignwood Star got permission to carry out helicopter tours to Henan Province's famous Songshan Mountain, drawing public interest in helicopter tourism in scenic areas.

Reignwood Star also launched regular first response emergency services and helicopter tours in Beijing to explore the new mode of tourism in urban areas in China.

"From the Songshan Mountain to Beijing, Reignwood Star aims to develop a new route for first response emergency services and helicopter tourism in China and give people the opportunity to view China's magnificent landscape from above," said Lü.


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