New generation EC130T2 helicopter to be used on flights from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay and Sapa.
The KLF Joint Venture Global Investment Joint Stock Company and the Northern Vietnam Helicopter Company (VNH) held a ceremony on July 20 to launch the EC130T2 helicopter, the first of its kind for tourism in the north of Vietnam.
“Helicopter tourism will develop service quality and diversify products and services and help us to promote the tourism activities and services at our hotels and resorts,” General Director of KLF Nguyen Thanh Binh told the ceremony.
The EC 130 T2 is a new generation of helicopter, equipped with advanced technology such as active vibration control and modern navigation systems.
Its cabin has large windows for easier observation and sightseeing, air conditioning, and spacious seating for one or two pilots and five or six passengers.
With modern technology and being fuel-efficient and lightweight, the EC130T2 significantly reduces operating costs, so the price per flight is about $2,400 per hour, or only half of that for other types of helicopters such as the MI 17, MI 172, and EC155B1.
According to Deputy General Director of VNH, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son, the use of helicopters in civilian areas in Vietnam is very limited but flights are popular in many other countries. As demand in Vietnam has increased, many enterprises have looked at conducting flights.
“Helicopters were previously only used as transport in the oil and gas industry,” said Mr. Tran Dinh Nam, Manager of VNH’s Commercial Department. “The use of a helicopter for tourism will provide visitors with an enjoyable experience while traveling in Vietnam.”
He also believes the service has great potential because tourists who are willing to spend thousands of dollars a night at a five-star hotel can also afford a helicopter flight.
Routes such as Hanoi to Ha Long Bay cost $3,600 - $3,950 for a 90-minute flight while Hanoi to Sapa is $8,400 - $9,240 for around three and a half hours.
The EC 130 T2 helicopter will be housed at Hanoi’s Gia Lam Airport, about 15 minutes from the city center. Within 40 minutes guests will be admiring panoramic view of Ha Long Bay.