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Why No Helicopter Airlines?  
User currently offlinePhuebner From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 244 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7041 times:

Why do you think that Airlines have never picked up helicopters for their fleets? I am curious to know why you think that is.


Remember this, Your Body is a temple Not a pull toy!
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4670 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7022 times:

Define airlines....

Pan Am flew helicopters


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Photo © Nicholas P. Augusta



British Airways flew helicopters


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Photo © Gary Watt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Robert Unwin



KLM had a helicopter division (KLM North Sea helicopters), now schreiner:

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Photo © Eddy Cuperus



We still have Helijet in Canada, flying between Victoria Harbour and Vancouver Harbour (it's core route, they fly a lot more)


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Photo © Marlo Plate - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Oscar Bernardi



and I'm sure there are a lot more.

Jurgen



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
User currently offlinePhuebner From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 244 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7009 times:

Interesting pictures. I was reading one of my textbooks and it said "It has been more than 30 years since the end of the scheduled helicopter transport era." Gesell & Dempsey -Air Transportation Foundations for the 21st Century -

This statement caused me to think about it and I was wondering why now, no "legacy" airlines have helicopter service and why there hasn't really been a major "helicopter" airline.



Remember this, Your Body is a temple Not a pull toy!
User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 7002 times:

I would assume cost would be a considerable factor. Not sure of the amounts of cash involved, but you can obviously only transport relatively small numbers of people at a team (even in a large helicopter like a Sikorsky 61 or 92).

User currently offlineBtriple7 From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1160 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

I think the main reason helicopters are not used as major parts of airline fleets is because they are not are practical. They're slow and don't have a large passenger capacity. A regional jet or even a small prop is much more economical than a helicopter.

Regards,
Btriple7



Just...fly.
User currently offlineOwlEye From Netherlands, joined Feb 2006, 957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 6974 times:

Copterline in Finland is a true helicopter airline:

http://www.copterline.com/fi_FI/

http://www.expi.de/pvf/skand05/Copterline-Einstieg.jpg

They even have concidered the new Sikorsky S-92:
http://www.liladesign.com/aircraft-profiles.html


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6389 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6945 times:

http://www.airgreenland.gl
Well, http://www.airgreenland.com is probably easier to read..  Wink

Greenland would have very limited travel infrastructure without helicopters. It would have been a totally different country in case helicopters had not been invented.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineRemcor From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6898 times:

It is common to have helicopters flying scheduled routes in the former Soviet Union as well. I know that in Tajikistan they use some Mi-8s for internal flights.

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 6877 times:

You had em in the late 50's and into the 60's.

CHA Chicago Helicopter Airlines
LA Airlines
New York Helicopter Air

Those were the majors in the USA
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineJoness0154 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 667 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 6848 times:

Its not really economical. The short range and relatively low capacity of a helicopter is not worth it. Probably easier to drive, in the US anyways....


I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem
User currently offlinePlanesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4119 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6794 times:

There is a regular schedule helicopter between Malta and Gozo which operates about 7 or 8 times a day in each direction.

User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6781 times:

I believe BA used to offer services between LGW and LHR for connecting passengers by helicopter.

User currently offlineLando From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 6753 times:

Well if you had the Boeing 234LR, the capacity shouldnt be a huge problem. It could carry a good load, I would think. Also, helicopters are more versatile in where they can land. So, scheduled flights could get you where you need to go faster, and bring you closer to your actual destination. For instance, the helicopter service that is starting in New York, that takes you from downtown to the airport. If you need to go downtown a helicopter can get you there while a plane can only take you to the airport, in which you would have to spend time commuting in a car. So, I think that if a helicopter could be made to carry more passengers and in turn keep ticket prices low, if you had the right destinations it could be a success.

Lando


User currently offlineXwizard From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2004, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6708 times:

There's also the (seemingly) highly successful services provided by Heli Express here in Hong Kong between Hong Kong and Macau, as well as their services between Macau and SHZ.


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User currently offlineFanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1964 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6690 times:

Ah, back in the 1960s and 1970s, helocopters actually landed on the roof of the Pan Am building in Manhattan. After a crash in the late 1970s, this practice was abandoned. New York Airways also flew among the three New York City area airports, first using S-55s and Boeing Vertols, later Sikorsky S-61Ls.

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Photo © Willam W. Sierra



There was another airline, Island Helicopters, that flew local tours. I believe they are now Liberty Tours.



The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
User currently offlineBoeing744 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1831 posts, RR: 23
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
We still have Helijet in Canada, flying between Victoria Harbour and Vancouver Harbour (it's core route, they fly a lot more)

Yup, Helijet is a full airline. They also operate (or used to, I don't know) some B1800s, YQQ-BFI. Their other main (heli) routes are Vancouver Harbour-Whistler and Victoria Harbour-YVR.

[Edited 2006-03-09 03:09:43]

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6680 times:

Quoting Fanofjets (Reply 14):

Don't forget the Wall street stop on the pier. That's the one I used, then walked a few blocks to catch the subway and head over to Brooklyn to visit the relatives....in the 60's.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineChrisjake From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 865 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6663 times:

Helicopters will be in the skies over New York again soon. USHelicopter is about to start service between JFK and Manhatten.

http://www.flyush.com/


chris



Well nothing's dead down here, just a little tired
User currently offlineTomTurner From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 247 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

Quoting Fanofjets (Reply 14):
There was another airline, Island Helicopters, that flew local tours. I believe they are now Liberty Tours.

Island Helicopters actually flew S-62s(!) between East River Heliports (Downtown and Midtown) to Garden City Long Island. Sadly no images on A.net. I am hoping some show up eventually.

They flew Bell Long Rangers as well I believe. It would be a surprise to me to learn they morphed into Liberty, but I don't know either way.

Long after I saw the last of Island Helicopters, a couple of different companies flew, implausibly enough, S-58s around Manhattan and briefly to New York area airports.

One of the last of those (S-58s) had its swan song as an NYPD imposter in the George Clooney move "PeaceKeeper" (I think that was the name of the movie). Not sure if they applied police decals or it was done cgi.

Tom


User currently offlineTomTurner From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 247 posts, RR: 18
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 8):
You had em in the late 50's and into the 60's.

CHA Chicago Helicopter Airlines
LA Airlines
New York Helicopter Air

Those were the majors in the USA
safe

I believe there was an operator SFO-OAK as well.

Tom


User currently offlineSfomb67 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 417 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6576 times:

Quoting TomTurner (Reply 19):
believe there was an operator SFO-OAK as well.

Yes, I was about to mention that, when I got down to your post. I think it was called SFO Helicopters. When I started working with TWA in rampservice back in '68, I remember driving at the terminal, at night, and this helicopter coming out of nowhere, above me, trying to land. I couldn't see him, and he probably didn't see me. They landed right near the gates, in those days.



Not as easy as originally perceived
User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20394 posts, RR: 62
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6563 times:

Quoting TomTurner (Reply 19):
I believe there was an operator SFO-OAK as well.

Yup, took it many times. SFO Helicopter "The BEELINE to your Airline". It flew all over the Bay Area. SFO, Oakland, Berkeley, Concord, Sunnyvale, Sausalito, etc.

http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usc/sfo.htm



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21476 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6532 times:

Are there any helicopter airlines still left in Hawai'i?

And the new york service extended into the 80s, both with Pan Am and with New York (they had a red apple logo, right?).



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21476 posts, RR: 60
Reply 23, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

I wonder if there is a business model to fly services between SNA, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Santa Barbara...


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2558 posts, RR: 53
Reply 24, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6508 times:

I believe it was a combination of cost, and the unfortunate accident rate from the startup helicopter companies in the 1960's that ended large scale attempts at helicopter airlines.

I lived in Newport Beach CA until I was 11 years old, and I remember my parents taking my sister and me on LA Airways helicopters from the Newporter Hotel to LAX to catch our flights out from there. It was great fun, and always scarily impressive to walk up to that helicopter, its engines screaming, with the blades whirling by overhead as we boarded. I know one of the LA Airways Sikorsky's crashed sometime in the late 60's, which ended their operation.


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Photo © Mel Lawrence



It was fun while it lasted though.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
25 Post contains links HAL : After a little research I found that LA Airways had two fatal crashes only three months apart in 1968, both due to failure of the main rotor hubs on t
26 Levent : SABENA operated helicopters, and there is also a helicopter service between Nice and Monaco, and between Malaga and Ceuta.
27 RAFVC10 : Yes operated by Helisureste with bell Helicopters
28 Post contains links BMED : Also British International operate s-61n to the scilly isles. This is an helicopter airline. http://www.islesofscillyhelicopter.com The Penzance - St
29 LTBEWR : In NY City and other cities I would suggest a number of reasons for the end of helicopter connecting services to/from central business districts and t
30 Post contains links and images AeroWeanie : This is crash (actually a roll-over) on May 16, 1977 is widely credited with killing that era of helicopter airlines. The accident happened because a
31 Sfomb67 : I know there are several on Kauai & Maui, but for sightseeing trips. Probably some on the big island & Oahu, but don't know for sure.
32 Kdm : Back in the early 90's I used to work for a computer company called Digital Equipment and they had a small fleet of Helicopters with a check in area a
33 Scalebuilder : There are several operators with services dedicated to offshore oil platforms in the North Sea and probably the Gulf of Mexico. It can be argued that
34 Post contains links and images AC_B777 : Air Canada used to have helicopter service that ran mainly between Toronto Island Airport (YTZ) and Pearson Airport. I think there may have been a few
35 Gemuser : Ansett Airline used to operate two(?) S61N helicopters on schedualed services from Prospine/Mackay to various Whitsunday resorts. I flew them in the e
36 Melpax : Back in the Early to mid 80's, a new hotel complex opened up near where I live in Melbourne's outer east (King Club, now known as Quest Wantirna) One
37 Alessandro : I think Air Decca in India got both?
38 Post contains links and images Cedars747 : Heli Air Monaco http://www.heliairmonaco.com Ciao Monaco Alex!!!
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