Fractional jet provider Flexjet has acquired UK-based helicopter operator Halo Aviation.
“My vision is to strategically position each of our flight providers to become a leader in its market,” said Kenn C. Ricci, founder of Flexjet’s parent company, Directional Aviation.
Flexjet offers global fractional ownership, Sentient Jet offers the jet card and FXAIR and PrivateFly provide on-demand charter. Ricci added: “Now, with the acquisition of Halo and Associated Aircraft Group [AAG], we can add another market to that list: Vertical lift.”
Directional acquired AAG and its fleet of executive Sikorsky helicopters in the United States earlier this year.
According to Ricci, the addition of Halo gives the company access to urban mobility operations. It also allows the group to offer “a complete aircraft travel solution”.
Halo Aviation has bases in the south of England, around London, in the Midlands and in the Channel Islands.
Andrew Collins, CEO, Sentient Jet said the acquisition helps “provide a platform for the entry into service of electric vertical take-off and landing [VTOL] technology”.
Halo Aviation founder Will Fanshawe told Helicopter Investor: “As a helicopter company, we want to be in a position to fly and operate eVTOLs as and when they become certified. It’s certainly the future.”
Halo will support Flexjet and Sentient’s clients as they land in the UK. “It’s about tying that seamless service across the Atlantic,” said Fanshawe.
Pre-Covid, 50% of Halo Aviation’s flight hours were spent on airport shuttle missions to and from central London.
Fanshawe said flight hours were somewhat picking up again, with the operator anticipating a surge in bookings for the Silverstone Formula One Grand Prix and the Royal Ascot 2021 later this year.
Halo operates a fleet of 10 six- and eight-seat Agusta/Leonardo helicopters, including the Agusta AW109 and AW169 models, while AAG operates the Sikorsky S-76. AAG offers charter services, the AAG Excalibur Card (sold in 10-hour increments), Sikorsky Shares and New York-area airport transfer services.