Helicopter Flights in Fiji
If you’ve never taken a helicopter in your life, then Fiji would be the perfect place to start. Not only do helicopter transfers and private charters take you directly to your chosen resort in only a fraction of the time it would take by road or boat, but the birds-eye views of Fiji are just incredible. Picture azure waters decorated with coral reefs, islands of all shapes and sizes peppered across the ocean and landing right in the heart of your resort. So that you get the best deal and have the right expectations when booking your helicopter flight in Fiji, we’ve put together this quick list of things you need to know when taking a helicopter in Fiji.
For more reading, see The Guide to Helicopter Tours in Fiji.
1. Helicopter Flights Are Subject to Weather Conditions
Helicopter flights only depart if it is safe to do so. One reason for flights getting delayed in Fiji is the weather. If the weather is unsuitable to fly then helicopter companies will reschedule flights, but will not offer a refund. See what the typical weather patterns are in Fiji in What is the Weather Like in Fiji?
2. Helicopters Have Small Baggage Limits
Be sure to pack light if you are taking a helicopter in Fiji. Helicopters departing from Nadi or Denarau have a baggage limit as little as 15kg (33lbs), with a fee applied per kilogram of excess luggage. In Vanua Levu and Taveuni, the helicopter baggage limit is 23kg (50.7lb). Helicopters are not suitable for transporting surfboards, fishing gear or scuba diving gear, but these can be often transferred with island ferries (if travelling to the Mamanuca or the Yasawa Islands).
3. There are Also Weight Limits for People
All weight is taken into account for helicopter flights in Fiji. Often, there is a weight limit for people, which is 90kg (198lb), 100kg (220lb) or 123kg (270lb) – depending on how many people are scheduled on the flight. You will need to know your weight when booking a helicopter flight in Fiji. Passengers over the weight threshold are likely to be subject to surcharges.
4. Enquire About Child Fares
Note that many helicopter companies in Fiji offer a child fare. It’s often the case that children aged three to 11 years old pay around half the fare of an adult, while children aged zero to two years, who can sit on the knee of a full-paying adult, can fly for free.
5. Helicopters Can Be Hired for Commercial Operations
It’s not just airport transfers that helicopters can be hired for in Fiji. Helicopter operators also offer services for filming, photography and medical evacuations. Other commercial fields helicopters can be hired for include: precision lifting, agriculture operations, fire fighting, marine salvage, lighthouse support, seismic and mag survey, mineral exploration and more.
6. Allow Yourself at Least One Hour to Get Through Customs
When organising a flight time with the helicopter operator connecting to your arrival flight into Fiji, remember to allow yourself at least one hour to get through customs. There is a whole Passport Control and Biosecurity process to go through once arriving at Nadi International Airport before you can take your helicopter flight. Helicopter operators at Nadi Aiport will provide transfers between the arrival lounge and the helipad or have a kiosk in the domestic terminal, just a two-minute walk away.
7. Helicopters Go Limited Distances
Helicopters are a fantastic option for getting between the mainland of Fiji (Viti Levu) and the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands. Additionally, they are available to take passengers between Vanua Levu and Taveuni. However, if you want to reach remoter islands, like the Lomaiviti Islands, Kadavu, the Lau Group or even from Nadi to Suva, you will need to take a fixed-wing aircraft instead. Check out Where to Hire a Plane and Seaplane in Fiji for more details.
8. Scenic Tours are Available
If taking a helicopter transfer or private charter is not appropriate for you, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the action. Almost all of the helicopter operators in Fiji offer scenic flights around the Mamanuca Islands, the Yasawa Islands and even into the heart of Viti Levu! Scenic flights are also available through the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Find out more about our favourite tours in 5 Breathtaking Scenic Flights by Helicopter in Fiji.
9. Some Helicopters Have a Minimum Number Requirement
While it might seem obvious that there is a maximum number of people per helicopter, usually either three, six or eight, it’s perhaps not as obvious that there needs to be a minimum number of passengers in order for the flight to run. For island transfers or scenic flights, there usually needs to be at least two adult-fare passengers in the flight. If you’re travelling solo, you may be put on standby until the helicopter flight has more passengers.
10. Note the Difference Between Transfers and Private Charters
Many mistake a helicopter transfer for a private flight. Although that is sometimes the case by chance, “helicopter transfers” refer to flights with set rates and times, possibly shared with other travellers. “Private charters”, on the other hand, depart as close to your selected time as possible and are exclusively for you and your group.