Island Helicopters to take winter break
The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has announced that Island Helicopters will be taking a break over the winter and will return into service in April 2019.
It will then take delivery of a "brand new, fully liveried helicopter", ready for the start of the new season.
Passengers can still fly year-round from Land’s End and Newquay Airport on the Skybus fixed-wing service.
Island Helicopters launched its services from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly in May of this year and has a three-year contract with helicopter operator, Specialist Aviation Services.
However, the Steamship Group said in its first six months it had not taken enough advanced bookings to justify running the winter service this year so it will complete its first operating season on Saturday November 3rd and resume on Saturday April 6th 2019.
The company said it apologised to those passengers that had booked Island Helicopters during this period and said they would be offered an alternative Skybus flight.
Managing Director Stuart Reid said: “We’ve had fantastic feedback from passengers about Island Helicopters and it was always our intention to run a year-round service, but it’s become very clear that the original plan simply isn’t viable for the winter period of 2018.
“It highlights the challenges of running a highly seasonal transport operation where air passenger numbers can vary from a record 857 in a single day that we saw in June this year, to just a handful on a quiet day in January”.
He said Island Helicopters would return to service next April with a brand new AW169 aircraft, fully designed and built to the Steamship Group’s specification, including the Island Helicopters livery. The helicopter is currently on the production line in Milan and images and videos of its build will soon be available for viewing.
He added: “Over this winter period we are looking at several initiatives and different mixed ticket types for helicopter flights which will operate year-round in 2019.”
Island Helicopter tickets for 2019 are on sale now via www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk.