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Beijing launches whirlybird tours

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-08 09:00
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The new low-altitude tourism flight offers unique views of Beijing. [Photo by Yang Feiyue/China Daily]

Beijing kicked off the New Year with its first low-altitude tourism flight.

Travelers can explore the city from aboard a helicopter, offering whirlybird's-eye views of such landmarks as the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, and the National Aquatics Center, also known as the Water Cube.

"It was very exciting," says a passenger surnamed Zhang, who took the tour that launched on Jan 1.

The Beijing resident says it was the first time he'd seen the city from the sky.

"It's visually striking," he says.

Helicopters have flown over Beijing since 2015 but only as chartered commercial flights.

Flights are typically under 100 yuan ($15) per minute and last eight to 10 minutes, says Lyu Gang, vice-general manager of Beijing Reignwood Star General Aviation Co, which runs the flight.

The landmark tour costs 1,280 yuan but can be discounted to 880 yuan until March 31.

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