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Helicopters : The Future of Corporate Travel

I’d like to share with you an article I wrote for the June/Summer 2019 edition of Agenda Magazine, a business publication on the Isle of Man:

Helicopters: the Future of Corporate Travel. 

It explore the idea of corporate helicopters, their increasing popularity, and how they can become a valuable asset for companies.

If you would like to discuss any aspect with us, please visit our 👉 contact page to get in touch !

If you are interested in the full online edition of the publication, also containing an interview with Nigel Watson, 👉 view it here

Alternatively look at our blog on the interview, 👉 here

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Imagine this:

You have a meeting scheduled in mainland UK. This meeting is an incredible opportunity for the future of your company – your attendance is vital. However, the day of the meeting, you wake up to discover your flight has been cancelled and the upcoming sailings are all booked up. Now stuck on the island, you are faced with the fact that you may miss it, and risk the opportunity that lies before you. 

This is where corporate helicopters come in. 

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Discovering Corporate Helicopter Transport

Helicopters have many uses: as military vehicles, flying the rich and famous, or filming events like the TT from the air. An often overlooked use of these aircraft is corporate transport. The market for corporate helicopters is still smaller than it could be. Their value is especially true for island-based companies where executives have to rely on often sporadic and unreliable third party methods to get them to where they need to be.

Corporate helicopter travel is becoming more popular, especially in the United States. We spoke with a representative of a large US insurance company about how he sees their flight capability and the future of corporate flying. “This situation is still quite unique”, he says. “Most helicopters in the Northeast [of the USA] are VIP-only helicopters. Our helicopters, along with our Jets, are used not only for VIPs but for anyone in the company with a business-related reason for travel.” In fact, they hardly ever fly VIPs. “Most of our flying is with nine passengers per helicopter; it is more like a shuttle.”

Helicopters are on the rise in megacities. So much so that companies dubbed “Ubers of the sky” that offer travel by the seat have cropped up in cities like New York and Mumbai. The reason for this is simple: urban transport is a nightmare. It is impossible to get anywhere via normal transportation methods, hindered by scheduling, delays and traffic. Sound familiar? Off-island travel is sometimes just as difficult and unreliable, if not more. Helicopters are the versatile and time-saving solution to this problem.

•••

There has never been a better time to buy a helicopter.

Because there are so many excellent models on the market! From the classic to the innovative, the elite to the functional, there is a make and model for every use. However, they might not all be suited to how you want to fly. Simply put, the best helicopter for your business is a helicopter you can use. So, you need to figure out what your needs are exactly, to assist you in making the right choice.  

How regularly will you be flying, and how far away? How many people will you be carrying? Will you be needing a VIP finish to the interiors? Will you be offering flights commercially? Should you buy new or pre-owned? The answers to questions like these will help you narrow down your choices, until you find your perfect aircraft. 

•••

Helicopter lives can exceed thirty years.

Components are replaced during regular maintenance intervals until aircraft are approximately 80% renewed by their 15th anniversary: a repeating cycle. They will always have the capabilities they began with, but this cyclical maintenance means that the machines also undergo upgrades to engines and systems that continually maintain or even improve performance. Refurbishments of the cabin interior and external paint are easily done, and can transform the helicopter into something fresh, new and modern. Under proper management, like that provided by Luviair Limited, at thirty years old your aircraft will look almost as it did when you first purchased it. Luviair manages a fleet of globally-operating helicopters out of their Isle of Man base. Find out more at www.luviair.com.

A helicopter can provide a long and dependable service. Of course, circumstances can change. This is why future-proofing is essential. When the time comes to move on, either selling the helicopter, or trading it in for a newer model, how it has been operated and how it was originally configured will determine how it is seen in the market place and dictate its resale value. A discussion at the earliest stage of purchase is vital to provide the best options in the future.

•••

Helicopter transport is possible at every level.

There are many costs associated with helicopter ownership; as such, corporate rotorcraft have, for the most part, been limited to use in very large corporations. However, smaller companies have still been known to invest in this time-saving mode of transport, with a few cost-saving methods. 

Costs can be offset through charter flights. The aircraft can be leased out for a period of time or a particular trip. Or, should they be flying to a popular destination at half capacity, they can offer up the extra seats to individuals who need to complete the same journey. 

Some companies cannot justify the cost of full rotorcraft ownership, in which case they may opt for a fractional ownership scheme. Thereby, they share a helicopter and all the costs associated with it with another party, or parties, who have similar flight needs to themselves.

Finally, companies may opt to book charter flights if helicopter travel is a truly sporadic need, or as a means of ‘testing the waters’ before committing to an aircraft of their own.

•••

Helicopter ownership is a competitive advantage.

With a corporate helicopter, you could have full control of your business travel. They serve as an impressive machine for entertaining visiting guests, and branded with your corporate identity, they are a unique marketing tool. With long lives, versatility and reliability, helicopters are the future of corporate travel.

•••

Getting to the bottom of your flying requirements can be tricky. Nigel Watson has been flying for 20 years, and now living on the Isle of Man, is expertly placed to help you make your decision. Contact us for an assessment on whether your company may benefit from helicopter ownership, or visit www.nigelwatson.im for more.

•••

Discover more about the Helicopter Lifecycle, 👉 here.

Get in touch directly to see if this might be something you want to add to your company – details are on my 👉 contact page.

Will you need an operator for your corporate helicopter? Visit Luviair’s website  👉 here.

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