ISSG to start helicopter service from Land's End
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group will begin a helicopter service from Land's End Airport in May.
Island Helicopters will fly eight times a day, six days a week throughout the year, with fares starting at £215 return.
The service will be operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) in partnership with the Steamship Group using a new 10-seater AW169 aircraft. SAS currently operates the Cornwall Air Ambulance from Cornwall Airport Newquay.
Passengers will be able to park at Land’s End Airport or a new park and ride service will take them from Penzance train station or their accommodation to and from Land’s End Airport.
The Steamship Group said that Island Helicopters will "complement and integrate with the existing Skybus fixed wing flights from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter Airports, and the seasonal Scillonian III ferry which sails from Penzance".
Andrew May, chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Island Helicopters to Land’s End Airport and look forward to sharing our modern facilities, which already handle more than 60,000 passengers a year. We know there is demand from thousands of people who have really missed the helicopter since it stopped in 2012.
“We’ve listened to that demand, investigated what we believe can work, and have partnered with SAS to make it happen. This gives visitors and islanders more choice over how they travel and makes the transport network more resilient, which is exactly what our customers say they want.”
Andrew added: “We plan to fly to St Mary’s Airport and Tresco, subject to agreement with both. We know how important a direct high quality helicopter link is to Tresco’s customers and we are renewing our offer to Tresco to work with us to make the service a success for all of the islands.”
Henk Schaeken, managing director of SAS, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Steamship Group to provide the aircraft and crews for these new helicopter flights from Land’s End Airport. The AW169 is a state-of-the-art helicopter and we’ll be providing a brand new aircraft straight off the production line, offering passengers a speedy and comfortable service. We look forward to expanding our operations in Cornwall.”
Kim Conchie, chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The visitor economy is crucial to the Isles of Scilly and any sustainable development that strengthens transport links has got to be welcomed. This new service will offer more choice year-round, and that’s great news.”
Chris Pomfret, former chairman of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “When the previous helicopter service to Scilly ceased for financial reasons, I was Chair of the LEP and know only too well what a blow that was. I am therefore delighted for those who love the islands – whether residents, visitors or local businesses – that a new service is being put in place using a latest generation helicopter. I am sure this will be welcomed by everyone involved with the Islands and hope it proves a commercial success.”
Tickets will go on sale in April, but customers can register their interest now via the Steamship Group's website or by calling the Isles of Scilly Travel Centre on 01736 334240.