Charter operator VistaJet, which has a fixed-wing fleet comprised of large-cabin Bombardier jets, has been testing short-distance point-to-point service with an AgustaWestland AW109 GrandNew over the past year. The helicopter is based in St. Moritz and has been used to fly customers on short hops to such places as Milan, Geneva, Munich and Monte Carlo, as well as for heli-skiing excursions in the Swiss Alps.
“Since we don’t have light jets here at VistaJet, we wanted an aircraft that could cover shorter trips,” VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr told AIN. “For us, the best aircraft turned out to be a helicopter.”
Over the past year, VistaJet’s AW109 has logged about 150 hours, with the average passenger trip being about 40 minutes. Flohr said he has been pleased with the helicopter and is considering adding more, specifically noting London and Moscow as possible additional bases. Here at EBACE, Flohr (left) and AgustaWestland head of region for Western Europe, Turkey and Italy Luca Tonini celebrated the one-year anniversary of VistaJet’s helicopter service.