PremiAir has launched a new helicopter transfer service from any of the UK’s main business aviation airports to the London Heliport at Battersea on the south bank of the Thames River. The flights will be available on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. and will be operated with a four-passenger Eurocopter AS 355 Twin Squirrel or a nine-passenger Sikorsky S-76. Prices start at £1,945 ($2,787).
PremiAir is set to complete the relocation of its Hawker Beechcraft authorized service center to Oxford from Blackbushe Airport near Farnborough early this month. The business aircraft services group has leased a former CSE Aviation hangar, with Oxford Airport investing almost $2 million to overhaul and expand the facility.
London-based helicopter operator PremiAir claimed to have operated more than trips between the London heliport (often referred to as Battersea) and the show here in Farnborough. PremiAir has flown “more than 160 senior aerospace executives” with its Eurocopter AS 355 Twin Squirrel and Sikorsky S-76. The trip takes 20 minutes.
This year–as in years past– Farnborough attendees can expect a frustrating trip to the show, with gridlock between the venue and the M3 a near certainty. For attendees who want to avoid spending hours in the car, PremiAir is offering flights from the London Heliport in Battersea to the show site. The 20-minute flight in an executive-configured Eurocopter AS 355 sells for about $1,500 (£775).
Von Essen Hotels is investing approximately $15 million over the next 12 months to revamp the London Heliport, which it acquired earlier this year. The improvements include a re-worked ramp space, new fuel installations, upgraded control tower, new firefighting facilities, VIP departure lounges, access to adjoining hotel facilities and enlarged customer car parking.
UK-based helicopter charter specialist PremiAir has added another Eurocopter EC 155 to its fleet, bringing its total to 17 executive helicopters under management, including Sikorsky S-76s, Eurocopter AS 355 Twin Squirrels and a Bell 222. In addition, the company is in the midst of a major redevelopment of its heliport at Battersea, London’s only such CAA-licensed public facility.
PremiAir has introduced “first-come, first-served” rationed slots for access to the London Heliport after increased landing fees failed to control rising demand at the movements-restricted site. The facility–formerly known as Battersea and managed by PremiAir for its parent group, von Essen Hotels–is limited to 12,000 movements per year.
A new scale of landing charges introduced at the beginning of April for users of London Heliport is aimed at containing demand for the riverside facility, which has an annual limit of 12,000 movements–effectively 6,000 landings–as well as helping its new owner recoup a “considerable” investment in the site.
Following a “long and successful” relationship between the two companies, the von Essen Group acquired UK business aviation charter operator PremiAir Aviation Group last month. PremiAir already manages von Essen’s helicopter and business jet fleet, as well as London’s only commercial heliport at Battersea, which von Essen purchased for about $95 million in February.
The new owner of the London Heliport, von Essen Hotels, has appointed UK helicopter charter operator PremiAir to manage the site. The heliport, located at Battersea on the south bank of the River Thames, will be extensively redeveloped following a February 8 deal in which von Essen Hotels purchased the site from the Weston group.