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Scilly Isles Route

Old 20th Feb 2018, 08:00
  #181 (permalink)  
 
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Is it only me or am I missing something here...... The existing operator of the twotters / Islanders are planning on using an AW139 on the same routing as their fixed wing aircraft?

I find it very doubtful that the Tresco estate owners who want to operate their own service from Penzance will allow the incumbent operator to land on their estate? Which means they only have 1 landing site which will be St Mary's that they already fly to, confused dot com!
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 08:51
  #182 (permalink)  
 
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Spot on JS

Add in the fact that LEQ suffers more adverse weather than penzance and the entire thing seems quite bizzare
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 16:58
  #183 (permalink)  
 
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My feelings exactly. When I read about this I just thought, 'Why??' The only sensible reason could be that they feel a need to boost capacity but can't get their hands on another suitable fixed-wing. Surely not?
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 19:00
  #184 (permalink)  
 
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So the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company lodged an objection to the application for a new heliport to be built in Penzance to support rotary winged flights to the islands. Then last year IOSSC claimed there was insufficient demand for travel to the Scillys beyond what was already available via boat and fixed-wing flights. It subsequently forced a judicial review of the plans for a new heliport in Penzance, that were unanimously approved by the council. So the plans for the new heliport are currently bogged down in red tape.

But now it is launching its own helicopter service from Lands End Airport - quite a change of viewpoint.

For what it's worth, IOSSC owns the boat that provides sea crossings to the islands, it owns SkyBus that provides the only scheduled fixed wing flights to the islands, and it owns Lands End Airport from where most of the fixed wing flights depart.
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 19:52
  #185 (permalink)  
 
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Nothing whatever to do with Penzance vs Lands End this is just a blatant strategy by IOSSC to protect the monopoly they have held for 50 years.

If Penzance airport was to get the go ahead why on earth wouldn't IOSSC operate rotary flights from there as was their choice for many many years.

If the new service starts what odds when the bluff is called IOSSC make no effort to start a new rotary service from anywhere.
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 21:03
  #186 (permalink)  
 
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to protect the monopoly they have held for 50 years.
I wasn't aware they operated the S61's aswell!
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 21:42
  #187 (permalink)  
 
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They didn’t.

It was BA then British international.

Slight bit of trivia but the BI S61s still operate over cornwall, mAinly I understand for the MOD now based at NQY.
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 23:37
  #188 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't call a 8-10 seater chopper increasing capacity significantly in lieu of a Twotter, Twotters are in production again and I'm sure there are a few available on the market somewhere.

The LEQ chopper has to be destined for a Tresco route, I can't believe that it would be for St. Mary's.

The talk of PZE vs LEQ weather when the biggest problem is ISC fog, the minima is/was an RVR of 1500m which is pretty much impossible on a 600m runway, fog clears by the sun heating up the land and lifting the fog but in ISC there is so little land the approaches remain clagged up, in such conditions the choppers were more successful at getting in than the Twotters, they could simply go in to the overhead and drop in!

One concern I would have is that the proposed LEQ chopper is from a Gloucester based operator, ISC has it's own somewhat unique weather problems, Brymon had some 'special' Captains that knew the place like the back of their hand, one Captain 'Doc', all he had to do was sight his rock that he used as a navigational aid and he could get in, I believe they still refer to it as 'Doc's rock'

But the S61 that went in was crewed by an ABZ based crew, apparently they became disorientated and the rest is history, it should take local pilots with a local knowledge in such conditions.

Last edited by Harry Wayfarers; 20th Feb 2018 at 23:48.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 08:09
  #189 (permalink)  
 
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It was BA then British international.
Yes, well aware of that thanks. Just a gentle jibe that IOSSC have only had the monopoly since the S61's home was built on by Sainsburys!
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 08:14
  #190 (permalink)  
 
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Rather a senior moment and mistype there, I am well aware it was not IOSSC who operated the rotary service from Penzance, perhaps they merely tolerated it. Nothing happens on air routes to IOS without their influence, I go back to 1967 operating flights there and it was no different then.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 08:47
  #191 (permalink)  
 
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They may well have just shot their own foot right off.... Calling a Judicial Review, then actually starting your own heli-service is just bonkers! Any legal QC is going to probably make a call of "if its good enough for you to do it - then its good enough for others"

Would also be a very expensive operation that will be incredibly short lived in all probability because they will be paying for SAS to have crews locally based, and due to the number of rotations and days of the week, that will be at least 2 crews on rotation of probably week about.

It will also be operated according to SAS ops manual and for scheduled pax ops / it won't be the same as HEMS or PAS.

On an outsourced basis with such high cycles versus flight time and probably an avg load factor of 7 or less then that is loss-making from the start - and that is without the cost of sales, and IOSSC overheads

If you speak to any of the AW139 SAr guys that operate the same type, operating over / in a salt water environment all day soon takes its toll on required line maintenance - which will be intense..... and thats the same for both operators if they compete!
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 11:10
  #192 (permalink)  
 
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There is talk about 8 daily flights from Land's End, so they cannot all be for Tresco which never saw a lot of capacity back in the golden S61 days. Which begs the question - which type of passenger are they targeting if the same company offers fixed wing aircraft flights on the same route to ISC for half the price? While I hear claims that Land's End is closed for fixed wing ops 1 in 4 days on average, it would appear to be a rather bizarre business plan to mainly target stranded plane passengers once or twice a week (plus giving Tresco an - at this point unwanted - airlink). Is there not enough airlifit capacity to/from ISC since the demise of BIH so that people have to resort to the vomit comet and go by ship? Both heli proposals will add capacity to ISC, but will not make travel to/from St. Mary's cheaper.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 20:13
  #193 (permalink)  
 
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It doesn't say 8 daily flights from Lands End ... What is says is "up to 8 daily flights", take-off until landing is one flight, clever marketing but that could suggest just 4 rotations, i.e. 4 departures from Lands End with the other 4 departures being from Scillies, and it is up to 8 flights a day, the 8 flights might only be on a Saturday with the rest of the week perhaps 2 or 4 flights daily.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 22:07
  #194 (permalink)  
 
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They are still being very coy about where the heli flights are actually going. Everything I can see on their website or facebk page talks about a service from Land's End 'to the Isles of Scilly'.If they were reintroducing a heli service to Tresco after so many years, would they not be making a bit more noise about it? I don't know... It all leads me to wonder if even they have decided whether they're going to do purely LEQ-ISC or LEQ-ISC-Tresco!
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 00:05
  #195 (permalink)  
 
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According to the Tresco Heliport wiki page in the old days of a summer it would receive up to 6 S61's, that's somewhere around 120 seats so 8 x 10 seats isn't so silly as it may sound.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 08:13
  #196 (permalink)  
 
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I personally can’t see the skybus chopper service ever operating to Tresco simply because the heliport is owned by Tresco estate which is behind the PZE plan
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 09:37
  #197 (permalink)  
 
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But Tresco is dependant upon tourism and if you were a Tresco hotelier, or other tourism related business proprietor, and an air operator were refused permission to bring in the tourists to you would you lie back and think of England or would you kick up a stink?
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 10:50
  #198 (permalink)  
 
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IIRC correctly back from my visit, Tresco is pretty much a one-man-show owned and run by Robert Dorrien-Smith. As Tresco in the past relied to some extent on day visitors visiting the gardens and the abbey, he understandably is keen to re-estalbish the heli link and thus is behind the new Penzance heliport. I suppose these days the number of daytrippers is somewhat more limited. So unless the IoSS heli venture ruins his business plan, he will not allow island helicopters to serve Tresco.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 12:31
  #199 (permalink)  
 
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Correct, RD-S holds a long lease on Tresco and owns the hotel on the adjacent island of Bryher.

There were up to 6 choppers a day a few years ago, although the Gardens on Tresco now get many visitors from visiting cruise ships.

Ultimately the chopper service is about operating in poor weather, which is why PZE is a better options than Lands End. The ISSCo initiative is a rather childish spoiler in my view and won’t last long, if indeed it really starts.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 12:47
  #200 (permalink)  
 
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There appears to be some bad blood involved with IoSS being the bad guy. Reminds me a little bit of the recent Flybe - Loganair saga up in Scotland where the public obviously voted with their feet/wallets.

For example, Tresco advises visitors that they can no longer book flights on Skybus for a package holiday for a fixed fare, but simply have to book flights based on live pricing for the general public. Apparently IoSS is no longer willing to cut Tresco a deal. I also noted that IoSS since 2016 no longer offers partial refunds for passenger of flights cancelled due to adverse weather if those passengers opt for alternative transport on the Scillonian - something they apparently did in the past when they had competition.
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