Flexjet launches private helicopter division
Private jet fractional fleet operator Flexjet has launched a private helicopter division featuring Sikorsky S-76s. The service, led by Eli Flint, will offer complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners and sell add-on fractional, lease and charter access.
The new division is designed to provide on-demand transportation regionally as well as last-mile transport for owners of Flexjet aircraft traveling from airports to their final destinations. It is a door-to-door travel solution that is not available through any other US provider, according to Flexjet.
Michael Silvestro, CEO Flexjet, said: “Flexjet’s new helicopter division enhances our position as the leader in combining fixed-wing operations and private urban mobility in the US. This distinguishes us as the only operator in our industry to offer seamless travel.” More travellers are seeking alternatives to crowded transportation, he added. “They are opting instead for easier, safer and less stressful options from beginning to end. In addition, this enhanced segment of the Flexjet experience allows our clients to become even more productive with their time.”
In his new role Flint leads nearly 50 former AAG sales managers, mechanics, operations team members and pilots. He brings more than 25 years of aviation experience to this new role. Flexjet expects the division to grow within the US and in Europe over the next five years as “point-to-point vertical aviation demand increases worldwide”.
The company’s helicopter operations will be run seasonally in the north-eastern states and in Florida throughout the year. They will offer connections between airports and city centres plus short-haul regional destinations including such as conventions, music festivals and other sport and entertainment events.
The Sikorsky S-76 is one of the most respected and longest running-production helicopters, with a heritage of more than 40 years and 7.5m hours of safe flight, according to Flexjet. Helicopters will be configured for up to six passengers plus two pilots. The aircraft can fly at 155 knots per hour and have a range of 300 nautical miles
Flexjet says its new helicopter service will be environmentally responsible, as the company upholds a 4Air Bronze Sustainability plus SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) Rating.
Flint, who is type rated in several business jets and until recently leader in private jet sales for Flexjet working in the US south-east market, said: “I know how important this time-saving programme will be to Flexjet’s busy fractional jet owners and I am proud to lead this group of aviation professionals,” said Flint.
Safety is the highest priority at Flexjet, the helicopter division will have the same level of oversight, resources and industry credentials as the company’s jet fleet, he added.