Thursday 15 February 2018

IOSSG announces new Helicopter Service

The Chairman of the IOSS Group made the following announcement today:

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is working in partnership to launch a new helicopter service from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly, starting in May.

Called Island Helicopters the service will be operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) using a brand new 10-seater AW169 aircraft. SAS is no stranger to Cornwall and already operate the Cornwall Air Ambulance from Cornwall Airport Newquay, bringing important economies of scale when it comes to maintenance and operations.

Island Helicopters will fly year-round up to six days a week, with eight flights per day. Fares will start from £215 for a return, with a flight time of approximately 15 minutes. Tickets will go on sale in April, but customers will be able to register their interest via our website today.

Our plan is to fly from Land’s End Airport, which is part of the Steamship Group, to St Mary’ Airport and Tresco, subject to agreement with both. We look forward to working with Tresco because we know how important a direct helicopter link is to their customers in particular.

We aim to meet that demand and grow the travel market to Scilly by providing a year-round helicopter service that uses existing infrastructure and will complement and fully integrate with current fixed wing and sea operations to Scilly. The Steamship Group’s Board understands and would emphasise the strategic importance of all these services to the islands’ community.

This will bring greater choice, resilience and capacity to the transport network - all things our customers want to see. It will also help sustain the long-term viability of the islands’ transport system, and continued investment in it.

Recent substantial investment at Land’s End Airport and St Mary’s Airport by the Steamship Group and the public sector has greatly improved the air passenger experience, and we have just completed the installation of a GPS-based navigation system in all eight of our Skybus fixed wing aircraft to improve resilience and reliability.

Land’s End Airport currently handles 60,000 passengers and 10,000 aircraft movements a year and we strongly believe it offers the best opportunity for a viable helicopter service in the medium to long term, without adding significantly to the islands’ infrastructure cost base.

Our company was founded by islanders almost 100 years ago to foster the prosperity and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Our mission today is no different and I hope you will join me in wishing the Island Helicopters service every success.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew May

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group

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