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Helicopter Airline?  
User currently offlineKSBD From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 53 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8201 times:

Is it possible to run a successful helicopter air service?

I was thinking somthing along the lines of a large "chinook type" helicopter (maybe even a civilian V-22, if ever created) with a customed passenger-friendly interior. The target passenger market could be business to no frills, but the coinvenience of landing and departing at smaller provisional airports could help out (especially when the economy rebounds) and mean more business for those airports.

Is this a possibility or are their restrictions for such an operation?

54 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15729 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8190 times:



Quoting KSBD (Thread starter):
(maybe even a civilian V-22, if ever created)

There is. It's called the Bell Augusta 609. It is smaller than a V-22 and is being marketed as a business aircraft. According to Wikipedia, they have 80 orders and certification will be in 2010.

As for the airline, I don't think that helicopters or tilitrotors will be used for flights other than short shuttles like in New York. They may eventually be used for longer flights, say from the heliport in Manhattan to a heliport in Boston, but such services will most likely be used only by business travelers who are short on time.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineZBBYLW From Canada, joined Nov 2006, 1984 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8188 times:

Helijet in Vancouver seems like they are doing well, they fly to Victoria as well as charters and medivacs. They also have a Learjet doing Medivacs.

http://www.helijet.com/index.php



Keep the shinny side up!
User currently offlineAstockla From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8159 times:

I know there's also one that operates to/from the Scilly Isles to the Mainland but can't remember the name...


above us is only sky
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11638 posts, RR: 60
Reply 4, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8141 times:



Quoting Astockla (Reply 3):
I know there's also one that operates to/from the Scilly Isles to the Mainland but can't remember the name...

British International, they operate the route with S-61s form Lands End to St Mary's and Tresco.

There is also a successful service running between Macau and Hong Kong, between Malta and Gozo and a government subsidised service operating within the Faroe Islands.


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2560 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8135 times:

It's been tried in the past. LA Airways ran a variety of Sikorsky's around the Los Angeles basin in the 1960's. It failed for a variety of reasons, including high cost and a couple of crashes. The problem is that today the range of a helicopter puts it at a disadvantage against cars on freeways. For the cost of a helicopter ride (many, many times that of a car), you don't gain much time agains a car making the same trip.


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HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1122 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8135 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

There's also Copterline in Finland, flying Helsinki - Tallinn. They use Agusta AW.139s, but had also used Sikorsky S-76s in the past.

www.copterline.com (though at the time of writing, the site seems to be down)


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No plane, no gain.
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25111 posts, RR: 22
Reply 7, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8127 times:



Quoting ZBBYLW (Reply 2):
Helijet in Vancouver seems like they are doing well, they fly to Victoria as well as charters and medivacs. They also have a Learjet doing Medivacs.

You need a market with plenty of business traffic that can support high fares to offset the high operating costs of helicopters. Helijet's primary operation has always been the significant business and government traffic between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria (capital city of British Columbia). They're willing to pay fares over $100 one way for a 50 mile flight to avoid the time-consuming trip to/from the airports at both ends or the even longer ferry trip. They also have competition from a couple of scheduled float-plane operators between Vancouver Harbour and Victoria Harbour but they're more prone to weather-related delays.

Not many many other scheduled helicopter services have surivived as long as Helijet (23 years).


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11638 posts, RR: 60
Reply 8, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8118 times:



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 6):
There's also Copterline in Finland, flying Helsinki - Tallinn. They use Agusta AW.139s, but had also used Sikorsky S-76s in the past.

www.copterline.com (though at the time of writing, the site seems to be down)

Sadly they stopped the service in late 2008. Hopefully it'll be back again one day, but after the high profile crash they struggled.



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26906 posts, RR: 58
Reply 9, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8113 times:

They used to have a service years ago between LHR and LGW.

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15729 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8088 times:

There are a few conditions that need to be met in order for a helicopter shuttle to be successful.
1. There needs to be a metro area (or two) that is rather large and can generate significant traffic. This can't just be any traffic either, it must be business travelers who are willing to pay a premium.
2. Ground transport within/between the metro area(s) must be rather difficult or inconvenient. (like New York)
3. The metro area(s) must be too large / far apart for efficient ground transport but short enough to a) be within range for the helicopters and b) not have traditional air service between them.
4. In a case with two cities, one of them must also have limited or no air service for one reason or another, making it difficult to access one of the cities. (like Vancouver and Victoria)
5.The cost must be reasonable for at least the high end travelers no matter how inefficient ground transport is.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineThreepoint From Canada, joined Oct 2005, 2130 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8088 times:

Do any scheduled operations count? If so, there are numerous helicopter companies offering services to oil platforms in the North Sea, Grand Banks, Gulf of Mexico among other places. Granted, most services are not available to the public, but the companies are for all intents run exactly like a regular airline, complete with flight numbers.

With two recent crashes this past month (one happy ending, the other not so much), many more people are now aware of these operations.



The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
User currently offlineKSBD From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 53 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8076 times:

How about something starting along the lines of inter-California? Something like helicopter hubs in San Diego, LA and the Bay Area with connections between the hubs using jet service.

That would saturate that airlines market with all kinds of business travelers and those that can't or wont bother driving. Traffic is only getting worse on our freeways and helicopter services that cater to the business traveler will take hundreds of cars off the road, plus create jobs for helicopter pilots.


User currently offlineMHG From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 777 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 8061 times:

Copterline (Helsinki-Tallinn) has ceased scheduled ops in january.

The Malto - Gozo sewrvice has been replaced by a floatplane sevice ...

At the moment i know of the following worldwide scheduled helicopter operations :

1) Norway:
Bodo (BOO) - Vaeroy (VRY) Agusta A 109 by Helicopter Service A/S

2) United Kingdom:
Penzance (PZE) - St.Mary´s (ISC) / Tresco (TSO) Sikorski S-61 by British International.

3) Italy:
Foggia (FOG) - Isole Tremiti (TQR) Agusta A 109 by Alidaunia

4) France/Monaco:
Nice (NCE) - Monaco (???) various Eurocopter models by Heli Air Monaco and a french operator i can´t remember ...

5)
Hong Kong / Macau: Hongkong (HHP) - Macau (XZM) Sikorski S-76 (soon AW-139) by Heliexpress

6)
USA: New York / Manhattan Heliports to various N.Y. airports plus a daily service to Bridgeport,CT (BDR)

7) Canada:
Vancouver (YVR) and Vancouver Harbour (CXH) to Victoria Harbour (YWH) Sikorski S-76 and Sikorski S-61 by Helijet



I miss the sound of rolls royce darts and speys
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25111 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8051 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 10):
4. In a case with two cities, one of them must also have limited or no air service for one reason or another, making it difficult to access one of the cities. (like Vancouver and Victoria)

Victoria has plenty of air service. AC and Jazz alone operate 18 daily flights each way on the 39 mile sector between Vancouver and Victoria airports. But many of the day-trip business travellers prefer the faster downtown to downtown helicopter service

[Edited 2009-03-19 14:34:52]

User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11638 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8028 times:



Quoting MHG (Reply 13):
2) United Kingdom:
Penzance (PZE) - St.Mary´s (ISC) / Tresco (TSO) Sikorski S-61 by British International.

Sadly they've now pulled out of PZE, flights leave from Lands End instead as the flying time is a good few minutes shorter which makes the operations more viable and the overheads are lower.


Dan  Smile



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 8010 times:

Does anyone remember in 1966 both EA and AA proposed using McDonnell Douglas STOL aircraft to fly from Manhattan to BOS, DCA, PHL etc?

User currently offlineMCO2BRS From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 7890 times:

BA operated British Airways Helicopters back in the 80's

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Briti...ers/Boeing-Vertol-234LR/0070594/M/

Cheers,

MCO-2-BRS


User currently offlineChapavaeaa From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 150 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7828 times:

There used to be an operation in Houston back in the early 1980's with 222's (I think) operating between Hobby, the Galleria and IAH.

The other one I'm fairly familiar with was the operation that ran out of DCA to several locations in the District of Columbia in the mid-late 1980's. I don't recall their name but I think they had a Capitol Dome on their logo. I can't ever see that operation allowed again due to 9/11 concerns but it was a great way to see the city.


User currently offlineFlypig687 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 56 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7808 times:



Quoting MHG (Reply 13):
6)
USA: New York / Manhattan Heliports to various N.Y. airports plus a daily service to Bridgeport,CT (BDR)

This route is served by US Helicopter (flying S-76's) and goes to BDR, JFK, the 34th st Heliport and EWR. Also they have cooperation with Delta and you can check in for your flight and everything from the heliport before you get to JFK.


User currently offlineBohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2686 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 7786 times:

There used to be an operation in the Bay Area back in the 60's-70's called SFO Helicopter which operated from SFO to OAK, SJC, downtown San Francisco, downtown Oakland, Marin County, Berkley, and a few other locations.

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User currently offlineTheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 2828 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (5 years 5 months 5 days ago) and read 7764 times:

Air Mauritius operate a fleet of helicopters, 3 Bell jet range for Short trips to the outer Islands.
They also have a range of other aircraft including Airbus, Boeing and ATR"s



Flown 905,468 kms or 2.356 times to the moon, 1296 hrs, Longest flight 10,524 kms
User currently offlineClydenairways From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 1232 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7635 times:

There is also Helisureste, that operate from Malaga to Ceuta....
I'm sure this is even an intercontinental flight as one is in Europe and the other is in Africa.


User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7555 times:



Quoting TripleDelta (Reply 6):
There's also Copterline in finland, flying Helsinki - Tallinn. They use Agusta AW.139s, but had also used Sikorsky S-76s in the past.



Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 8):
Sadly they stopped the service in late 2008. Hopefully it'll be back again one day, but after the high profile crash they struggled.

Yes it's really sad they they stopped the service, I flew them last August and enjoyed it. Their idea was to provide affordable heli service between Helsinki and Tallinn but unfortunately the economical recession, especially in Estonia, hit them too hard.

Copterservice trip report:
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...searchid=139067&s=Tallinn#ID139067


User currently offlineTripleDelta From Croatia, joined Jul 2004, 1122 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (5 years 5 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7536 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER



Quoting Andaman (Reply 23):
Yes it's really sad they they stopped the service, I flew them last August and enjoyed it. Their idea was to provide affordable heli service between Helsinki and Tallinn but unfortunately the economical recession, especially in Estonia, hit them too hard.

Yeah. I was really looking forward to flying them one day and the prices (checked them in November I think) were not all that high... is their SAR arm still flying, or have they axed that as well?



No plane, no gain.
25 Andaman : Yes they have three? SAR bases in Finland. Hopefully Helsinki-Tallinn route gets the heli service back one day, the 18 min flight must be the shortes
26 Isitsafenow : We had LA Airways, mentioned above and CHA, Chicago Helicopter Air in the late 50's-early 60's. They used old S-58's and a couple of crashes shut them
27 Moose135 : For years now, I've thought an Osprey-type aircraft would be great for a Northeast shuttle operation, connecting downtown to downtown between NYC, Ph
28 Jetstar : I think there was even a prototype STOL airplane flying that was going to be used for this service, and I believe for a while it was painted up in EA
29 MHG : Sorry, but at least on last tuesday BS was still operating out of PZE ... (I was there but due to Fog on the Scilly´s ops started around 1pm and i c
30 Post contains images Viscount724 : It was the French Breguet 941, promoted in conjunction with McDonnell-Douglas in the U.S. where it was called the McDonnell-Douglas 188. There were n
31 PlymSpotter : Very interesting, just before Christmas they left PZE (along with many protests from the islanders on Scilly) and started flying from Lands End. Ther
32 Wjcandee : You guys probably remember New York Airways, which used to land on the Pan Am building in Manhattan with a 7-minute flight from JFK, with the price in
33 Post contains links and images VV701 : In August 1988 I flew from LHR to Malmo. My flight, BA808 in a 733, flew LHR-CPH where most passengers disembarked before it flew on on the 30 mile ho
34 Jetstar : Thanks Viscount744 for the picture, that’s the airplane and proves I wasn’t just dreaming. Just a little trivia about the S-61 helicopter involved
35 Wjcandee : Classic New York approach to a problem. Alternative is to pay to rig slings over the side. VERY expensive,complex and requires zillions of permits an
36 MHG : I had booked a dayreturn on Skybus´s Twinotter NQY-ISC and a dayreturn ISC-PZE-ISC on BS. Weather at NQY was already good around 8am ... I was alrea
37 Post contains links Beeweel15 : You also have US Helicopter currently in NYC http://www.flyush.com/
38 Post contains links and images RICARIZA : Is it considered as an Helicopter or more as a plane?
39 Post contains images FlySSC : HELI AIR PARIS used also to operate several Daily services between ORY and CDG until the early 90s. Back in 1953, SABENA started scheduled helicopter
40 Post contains images SASDC8 : It is actually operated by Lufttransport now. Flew it in September, when they also flew to RET, and I must say it is a great way to travel and I woul
41 BMI727 : It's both. That's the point.
42 HAL : In the US it is considered a completely separate category of aircraft - "Powered Lift". There is a separate section for rules & regulations on powere
43 Jbernie : I was thinking about something like this the other night, in Sydney if you want to get from say Manly beach to say Bondi beach by car it is 22km, but
44 BMI727 : How long does it actually take to go the 10 miles or so? Also, the possible success of a helicopter shuttle depends as much on who goes as on how man
45 Post contains links VV701 : Both conceptually and in terms of a flying prototype this type of transport dates back to the late 1950s when the one and only Fairey Rotordyne first
46 Someone83 : This one is subsidized by the Norwegian Government. Originally this was an airplane route, but after several near accidents and a fatal accident, the
47 PlymSpotter : No definitely not, it's a great trip. I really feel for you, we've now had 8 days of uninterrupted sunshine and temperatures approaching 20 degrees,
48 2707200X : Island Express Helicopters operates services between Catalina and Long Beach as well as San Pedro.
49 Post contains links and images LongHauler : Air Canada also operated a helicopter service from YYZ to Toronto's Cherry Street Heliport in the Docks area of the waterfront, during the late 1980's
50 Jbernie : The actual drive time is quite long, Manly Wharf to my parents house which is north of the bridge still is an easy 30 mins, slightly shorter to the H
51 Post contains links and images Commander_Rabb : One of the most convinent services was Omni Flight's service on behalf of Pan Am. You could not beat it in New York. View Large View MediumPhoto ©
52 BMI727 : Those aren't the types of people who will pay a decent amount of money to fly ten miles and save twenty minutes.
53 RAFVC10 : You are right!! More than three daily flights operated with Bell equipment and in high season you can see an Augusta helicopter or even a Sikorsky S6
54 Post contains images OwlEye : A photshopped postcard shows a Sabena helicopter above the roman St. Servaas-bridge in Maastricht:
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