Helium balloon project begins service despite objections

Htet Shine
Scene lovers look at Yangon’s views with a helium balloon.

The helium balloon project of Myanmar Voyages International Tourism Company is now in service, despite objections.

Thet Lwin Toe, project director for Myanmar Voyages International Tourism Company, said: “We started helium balloon services to the public on June 17. Sessions are a day long. If the weather is clear, services start at about 8am and end at about 4pm or 5 pm. If it rains, services are not offered. A helium balloon can carry 10 people and climb to 200 feet. If the weather is good, it can climb to 300 or 400 feet.

About 100 people who exercise in Kandawgyi Park held a protest against the launch of the helium balloon project at the park’s old aquarium compound.

Myanmar Voyages International Tourism Company was given green light to implement the helium balloon project, according to the Gardens and Playgrounds Department under the Yangon City Development Committee.

“About 30 or 40 people came on the first day. They were journalists and other invited guests. We gave free services to those who did not ride helium balloon on the opening day. We finalised our work last week. It took about 20 minutes to get up in the air. We have started services. We are still applying for a tourism license. We pay attention to security,” said project director Thet Lwin Toe.

The helium balloon project was commissioned into service at the old aquarium compound of Kandawgyi Gardens despite objections on June 9.

“These three months are for promotion. Agents are selling tickets at different prices. The ticket for Myanmar citizens is below K10,000. The ticket for foreigners is US$20 to $30. Later, special evening programmes will be available. Some movie producers are offering to hire helium balloon for shooting,” the project director said.