Helicopters to fly passengers from downtown Saigon to Tan Son Nhat airport

By Phuong Dong   June 9, 2017 | 04:00 am PT
Helicopters to fly passengers from downtown Saigon to Tan Son Nhat airport
A helicopter on the rooftop of Times Square Tower in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1. Photo courtesy by VNH South
Beat chronic traffic congestion all the way to the airport, if you have the money.

A local helicopter firm has completed the necessary procedures to launch passenger flights from downtown Ho Chi Minh City to Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

The Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company (VNH South) has been conducting pilot flights over the past month to test the service.

As part of a deal struck with Times Square Investment Joint Stock Company, VNH South will serve high-income customers on return flights between Times Square Tower in District 1 and the airport.

Fares for the service have yet to be announced, but one aviation expert told the Saigon Times that a helicopter flight from the city center to Tan Son Nhat Airport can cost more than $10,000. Vietnam's average annual income was around $2,200 last year.

The agreement also says that VNH South will expand its helicopter passenger services between the tower and other destinations in the south.

The helicopters used for this service can carry up to 12 passengers and two pilots.

The roads leading to Tan Son Nhat airport are often jammed, especially during the holidays, so the city has been working on different solutions to tackle the problem.

Tan Son Nhat is Vietnam’s largest airport. It was designed to handle 25 million passengers per year, but last year it served 32.5 million, up 22.4 percent from 2015.

Around ten buildings in HCMC have helipads, including Diamond Plaza, Bitexco Financial Tower and Tan Son Nhat Saigon Hotel.

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