Having trouble picking which tour company to fly with?
To begin with, we will provide a brief breakdown of each tour company to help you make an informed decision. Currently, there are five distinct helicopter tour operators that fly out of the Honolulu International Airport. Among them, and in my completely unbiased opinion, Honolulu Helicopter Tours stands out as the best option of all five 🙂
Blue Hawaii Helicopters (https://www.bluehawaiian.com/en)has been around the state for a long time. They fly the EC 130 which seats six people. This company usually provides the lowest prices per seat, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get a window seats, and they don’t remove the doors.
Magnum Helicopters (https://magnumhelicopters.com) has gained popularity through their paint scheme and their ties to the Magnum PI television show. They fly the MD 500 which seats up to six people, which means there will be a passenger in the middle seat in the front and back rows of the helicopter. They do fly doors off, and the tour is 50 minutes long.
Rainbow Helicopters, previously known as Novictor Helicopters, (https://rainbowhelicopters.com) is definitely the biggest tour company on the island currently. They fly two different helicopters, the R44 and the AS350. The R44 seats four, and doors are optional. This is their most expensive item. The AS350 seats six people which provides a cheaper option, but similar to the MD 500, there will be passengers seated in the middle of the helicopter.
Mauna Loa Helicopters (https://maunaloahelicoptertours.com) flies the R44 exclusively, which has 4 seats and each door is optional. Mauna Loa Helicopters is well known as the state’s largest helicopter flight school, which boasts a 141 training program that allows them to secure visas for foreign students. Most of their tour pilots have graduated from this very flight school. Their tour is around 55 minutes long.
Honolulu Helicopter Tours (https://honoluluheli.com/) also flies the R44 exclusively, and is the only tour company on the island that only flies one helicopter at a time, providing unrivaled attention from the staff for each group that comes through our facility. It is the only tour company that currently boasts an unblemished 5 star rating on Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor, as well as a 100% safety rating. We provide three different options for the length of tour to best fit your budget, and we are the only company that guarantees you an entire hour on the full island tour. Our private flights are priced competitively to provide the best price vs quality experience the island has to offer.
1. Honolulu Helicopter Tours:
- Flies the Robinson R44.
- Only operates one helicopter at a time for personal attention.
- The only tour company with a 5-star rating on Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor.
- 100% safety rating.
- Three tour length options, including a full island tour guaranteed to be an hour.
- Private flights are competitively priced.
2. Blue Hawaii Helicopters:
- Long-established in the state.
- Flies the 6-seat EC 130.
- Often the cheapest per seat, but no guarantee of window seats.
- Doors remain on.
3. Magnum Helicopters:
- Popular due to their design linked to the Magnum PI TV show.
- Flies the 6-seat MD 500, meaning there’s a middle seat in both front and back.
- Offers a 50-minute doors-off tour.
4. Rainbow Helicopters (formerly Novictor Helicopters):
- Largest tour company on the island.
- Operates two helicopters: R44 (4-seat with optional doors) and AS350 (6-seat with middle seating).
- R44 is their pricier option.
5. Mauna Loa Helicopters:
- Only flies the 4-seat R44 with optional doors.
- Recognized as the state’s top helicopter flight school, with most tour pilots being its alumni.
- Offers a 55-minute tour.