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Virgin shuttle London-Manchester a place for helicopters?

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Virgin shuttle London-Manchester a place for helicopters?

Old 21st Aug 2012, 14:43
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Virgin shuttle London-Manchester a place for helicopters?

Would these work economically for any intercity shuttle service?
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 14:54
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Possibly, but only if you could find a place to operate from in London at a reasonable price.

Look up London Heliport's scheme of charges (or ask Signature, Heathrow for the recently increased airport charges) and you'll see what I mean.

Having thought about it again, because you included the word "economically"....No!

Last edited by ShyTorque; 21st Aug 2012 at 14:55. Reason: typo
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 14:58
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Can you not operate a helicopter from City airport?
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 15:07
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No, planning permission issues means they have never been allowed to operate from there.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 15:10
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Helicopter airlines often need to cross a geographical boundary to be competitive. Only Helijet in Canada will be the last surviving helicopter airline operation after BIH closes their Scilly operation.

Helijet is a substitute for slow moving ferry boats and BIH has a similar operation. If a fixed-wing aircraft can fly the same route they will underprice the cost of the fare. If the shuttle is using heliports for point to point then perhaps they have a chance.

Last edited by OffshoreHeli-Mgr; 21st Aug 2012 at 15:11.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 16:22
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Not a chance. Years ago we flew the Glasgow - Fort William, Oban, Rothesay etc. helicopter service with a 206 and that had to be heavily subsidised by the Highlands & Islands Development Board. We were then the biggest scheduled helicopter network, which annoyed BA somewhat (OK, they used a bigger helicopter!). That ran for well over 4 years.

Now if a tiltrotor were available.....

Phil
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 18:41
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Helicopter airlines are notoriously difficult to sustain (economically).

Regular (or even scheduled) shuttle flights over short distances have proven more resilient and of which Heli Air Monaco is perhaps the foremost example having been operating continuously since 1976.

In 1990 East Asia Airlines began a shuttle service between Macau and Hong Kong and which is still going (now operating as Sky Shuttle Helicopters) 20 years later and there are doubtless others.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 19:06
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Remember it well, the location of Fort William pad is now a bit of waste ground right at the side of a newish roundabout

Last edited by Thrust Augmentation; 22nd Aug 2012 at 14:38.
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Old 21st Aug 2012, 21:38
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Heli Shuttle service

Slight drift but on hearing of the demise of the Scilly Isles shuttle and having a good friend who bought flight shares from BIH twenty years ago, he tells me that even today he needs to book seats before Christmas for the summer even as a shareholder! He also says that as far back as he can remember the S-61 has always been full.

So wishing I was a younger 'go-getter' again, I have to ask whether the service could be continued on a charter basis using something more modern and probably smaller ... 139 perhaps or similar. It seems probable that the owners of Tresco might not permit a new service but the public airport at St Just is available. The schedule fare was around 120 and was flying around six flights a day, twelve months in the year, but I'm told that most of the posh holiday home owners would not be too concerned at a price hike as long as the service was there. The 61 flight time was around 20 minutes and it might be possible to take in the other islands.

When Nicolas Ridley sounded the death knell for the LGW-LHR S-61 shuttle, and being based at Redhill, I did produce a business plan to do a ditto on a charter basis, and in fact talked to quite a few of the airlines who were positive to the point of offering some subsidy to see the operation continue. At the time, even the LHR ATC guys seemed co-operative using the southern runway only for IFR.

I was a real business busy bee then and just didn't have the time to see the idea through, so I never discovered if I would have made a few bob or gone bust! Any ideas out there?

Take care all. Dennis K.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 17:49
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"Only Helijet in Canada will be the last surviving helicopter airline operation after BIH closes their Scilly operation" reckons OffshoreHeliMgr....

...but don't the various helo' ops from Nice to the surrounding moneypits count?
They do publish timetables, after all...
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 17:52
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but don't the various helo' ops from Nice to the surrounding moneypits count?
They do publish timetables, after all...
I think that is what Savoia was alluding to three posts up!
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 20:14
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Is there still a helicopter service from Malaga to Ceuta. Was operating with a AW139 a few years ago, flying businessmen and bankers between the Spanish mainland and their own little 'tax haven' enclave in Morocco. And yet Gibraltar is still somehow unacceptable!!

I also remember talk of starting up an EH101 service from London to Cardiff, but I don't think it ever got much beyond the planning stage.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 23:17
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Sad about the demise of the scilly isles s61n, it was not that long ago when they were talking about what the modern replacement for the S61 might be.
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Old 23rd Aug 2012, 23:28
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Returning to the original thread subject, most of the passengers on existing Manchester to Heathrow flights are actually catching connecting flights. Therefore dumping them at Battersea, London City or anywhere else miles away from their connection is unlikely to be commercially viable.

The only reason Virgin are interested is because they want to feed their longhaul network.
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Old 24th Aug 2012, 12:23
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City types must hate the journey to LHR as many prefer the LCY JFK via EINN on a 318 which is far slower than LHR JFK on a 747 ( M.79 v M.86 ). I would have thought if you could get around planning, clearing security at LCY then helicopter to LHR T5 into lounge airside for connecting flight must be doable. BA even have the pilots to do it.
MAN LHR won't work as you can't compete with a 319, city centre to city centre .........you can't compete with rail.
Now it's about time LHR LGW got the airlink back possibly a triangular service with the city.
Our wonderful transport secretary is MP for a W London constituency and has stated in Parliament that she dislikes helicopter noise over London however.
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Old 24th Aug 2012, 13:41
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TTO: You are indeed correct.

I do believe there is a place for short-distance inter-city air transport (access and bureaucracy notwithstanding) but that in order to compete with the rail-travelling market (for example), one needs to introduce a new type of vehicle.

As well as providing excellent STOL performance the vehicle needs to be highly economic and relatively inexpensive to produce (so you can forget about tilt-rotors and the like).

The answer could lie in a re-hash of the Fairey Rotordyne minus the tip-jets which, while providing vertical performance, also increase manufacturing and operating costs. For the sake of an ultra-short runway one could develop a large-scale compound autogyro which would provide speed combined with low construction/operating costs. Such a vehicle could, I feel, offer efficient alternative inter-city transportation.
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