Flexjet launches new helicopter division in Europe
Flexjet has become the first private jet operator in Europe to launch an in-house helicopter division, offering a fleet of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters to its existing Gulfstream G650 owners.
Corporate Jet Investor understands that the helicopter programme, which will initially focus on the UK, will eventually become available on a fractional basis when the fleet expands. The company is hoping to add to the fleet by the end of the year, but CJI understands it could be even sooner due to the listing of the company through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger due to close in summer.
Until then, Flexjet will offer jet owners on the ultra-long-range jet programme complementary helicopter transfers to and from their jet at airports in London or the US operating regions, as well as a standalone service for the helicopter programme.
The move follows Flexjet’s similar helicopter service in Florida and the north-eastern US, which was launched in June last year.
Each Sikorsky S-76 can seat up to eight passengers and features handstitched leather seats with metal and leather accents throughout the interior.
“No other private jet provider can offer access to an in-house helicopter fleet, which is yet another example of what makes our service stand out from our competitors,” said Marine Eugène, European MD, Flexjet. “Following the successful model already pioneered in the US, our new UK helicopter division defines us as the leader in combined fixed-wing operations and private urban mobility.”
Alongside the Sikorsky S-76, Flexjet will offer on-demand helicopter charters on its fleet of Agusta AW109 and AW169 aircraft, which were acquired during the company’s acquisition of Halo Aviation in 2021.
Eli Flint, president, Global Helicopter Operations, Flexjet said: “We see significant market potential for our premium helicopter programmes here [in the UK] and we’re raising the bar in rotary operations in every respect.”