Commuter Helicopter Flights Debut In China

Mainland China’s first commuter helicopter service took off last week, promising faster connectivity for the major business cities of the Pearl River Delta.


Private general aviation operator Astro Air, in partnership with China Southern Zhuhai Helicopter Branch, has launched flights between Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The service is modeled after helicopter shuttle services in Australia, Japan and the USA.


Primarily operated with Sikorsky S76 and S92 helicopters, each flight can comfortably carry up to 19 passengers between landing pads in the central business districts in 30 minutes. A single trip ticket is priced at RMB 4,999 (USD 770), a significant premium over competing but slower ground and sea transportation options.


With the region’s rapid economic growth, the company anticipates healthy demand for the service and is already planning to expand it to other cities in Guangdong province including Dongguan, Foshan, Huizhou and Jiangmen, as well as introduce helicopter transfer flights between local airports and city centers.


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