Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
malcolmfrost wrote:If you've got a car!
The Penzance option also has the Scillonian as an easy back up. It worked well for years, so good luck to the new operators.

My Dad travels on the Scillonian once a year - good if you have a lot of stuff to take over but the price you pay is vomiting over the side of a boat for 2hrs. Not my kind of fun! :D
This came as a surprise to the islands today. It’s a new service being promoted by the original applicants principle objector:-

Dear Customer,

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group is working in partnership to launch a new helicopter service from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly, starting in May.

Called Island Helicopters the service will be operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) using a brand new 10-seater AW169 aircraft. SAS is no stranger to Cornwall and already operate the Cornwall Air Ambulance from Cornwall Airport Newquay, bringing important economies of scale when it comes to maintenance and operations.

Island Helicopters will fly year-round up to six days a week, with eight flights per day. Fares will start from £215 for a return, with a flight time of approximately 15 minutes. Tickets will go on sale in April, but customers will be able to register their interest via our website today. ...

Our plan is to fly from Land’s End Airport, which is part of the Steamship Group, to St Mary’ Airport and Tresco, subject to agreement with both. We look forward to working with Tresco because we know how important a direct helicopter link is to their customers in particular.

We aim to meet that demand and grow the travel market to Scilly by providing a year-round helicopter service that uses existing infrastructure and will complement and fully integrate with current fixed wing and sea operations to Scilly. The Steamship Group’s Board understands and would emphasise the strategic importance of all these services to the islands’ community.

This will bring greater choice, resilience and capacity to the transport network - all things our customers want to see. It will also help sustain the long-term viability of the islands’ transport system, and continued investment in it.

Recent substantial investment at Land’s End Airport and St Mary’s Airport by the Steamship Group and the public sector has greatly improved the air passenger experience, and we have just completed the installation of a GPS-based navigation system in all eight of our Skybus fixed wing aircraft to improve resilience and reliability.

Land’s End Airport currently handles 60,000 passengers and 10,000 aircraft movements a year and we strongly believe it offers the best opportunity for a viable helicopter service in the medium to long term, without adding significantly to the islands’ infrastructure cost base.

Our company was founded by islanders almost 100 years ago to foster the prosperity and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Our mission today is no different and I hope you will join me in wishing the Island Helicopters service every success.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Howarth
Managing Director
kanga liked this
A reminder about the background to the heli debacle. The vital service ceased in 2011. It was a huge blow to the islanders and visitors. The major holiday business on the Islands tried to start up an independent service but was blocked by the IOS Steamship Company who operate the passenger boat and fixed wing assets to the mainland. They opposed the heli service to maintain the absolute monopoly. Today they made the announcement that has taken the whole of Scilly by surprise, that they are starting a service in May 2018.

This is the response to the news from the would be independent operator:-

Dear supporter,

We wanted to provide a statement in response to today's announcement from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company.

We would like to clarify that Penzance Heliport Ltd is not involved in the project announced today and today's announcement changes nothing.
Penzance Heliport Ltd remains committed to reinstating genuine choice and reliability to the Isles of Scilly transport system through a helicopter service from Penzance.
The near sea-level location of the Penzance Heliport site is the keystone to reinstating a reliable, weather-resilient helicopter service to the Isles of Scilly. Land’s End Airport – which suffers disruption on one in every four days each year – is the problem, not the solution.
Today’s announcement sadly signals no more than one company tightening its stranglehold further on these islands. It is a blatant attempt to retain a monopoly that is not working in the interests of these islands.
The public reaction to today’s announcement has shown that people want genuine choice and real resilience in the Isles of Scilly transport system. That has always been our vision, and today we reaffirm that commitment.
Thank you for your continued support,
The Penzance Heliport Team

Sounds like war and it will be interesting to see which one survives. I know who I will be rooting for.
Iceman, Berri liked this
Churchill said
the first victim of war is truth

Though I'm not saying these two press statements today are anything other than factual.

However, competition is good and so two helicopter, one fixed wing and one boat option can only benefit the islands their residents and visitors..

Is the present or projected market big enough to sustain this sizeable increase in capacity, is another matter.
kanga liked this
Iceman wrote:Surely, they must always have a boat service. How else do you get vehicles and heavy objects onto and off the islands ?

Iceman 8)

The SCILLONIAN is a passenger/ cargo carrier that operates during the “summer” season only.
The GRY MARITHA operates year round carrying cargo only.
At this time of the year the only means of passenger transport is by fixed wing aircraft six days a week subject to weather or by small fast jet boats which is a very expensive way to travel.
Iceman, Berri liked this
I understand the Scillonian is now only allowed to carry half the passengers it used to as well.

Which is why it always feels a bit quiet on board now.

The end is nigh for the Scillonian I feel, which is sad, I’ve travelled on it for 30 years, my wife.. since she was born.

She remembers when Juliet’s Garden was basically a shed. I remember the cakes at Rose Cottage.

She has some beads from beady pool !

sigh.... The Scillies.
Berri liked this
Cessna57 wrote:I understand the Scillonian is now only allowed to carry half the passengers it used to as well. .

AIUI, passenger numbers were reduced from about 600 to 430. The SCILLONIAN and GRY MARITHA are considered by many to be well beyond their sell by date and no replacements are on the horizon that will adequately ensure the future needs and concerns of the islands.
It gives me the impression that the people thrown out of the aviation and shipping industries for their inadequacy end up running a monopoly business vital to many.