Fractional jet provider Flexjet is launching a private helicopter division that will integrate Sikorsky S-76 operator Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), which was acquired last year by Flexjet parent Directional Aviation unit OneSky Flight. Service will begin with 12 helicopters finished in the Flexjet livery and interior and “scale up from there as necessary,” according to the company.
AAG was founded in 1989, purchased by Sikorsky in 1999, and used to launch the OEM’s fractional shares program. It operated primarily in the New York City area.
Flexjet helicopter operations will be seasonally located in the Northeastern states and in Florida throughout the year, connecting airports and city centers and short-haul regional destinations such as conventions, music festivals, and other sports and entertainment events. Flexjet also said it would provide complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners and sell add-on fractional, lease, and charter access to the medium twin S-76s.
The new division will deliver on-demand regional transportation and last-mile transport for Flexjet aircraft owners traveling from airports to their final destinations. Flexjet called the service “a unique door-to-door travel solution not available through any other provider in the U.S.,” and said it expects the helicopter division to grow in the U.S. and Europe over the next five years as the worldwide demand for point-to-point vertical aviation increases.
Flexjet’s Eli Flint will lead the new division as president and will be joined by a staff of nearly 50 former AAG sales managers, mechanics, operations team members, and pilots.
“Flexjet’s new helicopter division enhances our position as the leader in combining fixed-wing operations and private urban mobility in the U.S. This distinguishes us as the only operator in our industry to offer seamless travel,” said Flexjet CEO Michael Silvestro. “Today, more and more travelers are seeking an alternative to crowded forms of transportation—opting instead for easier, safer, and less stressful options from beginning to end.”
The helicopter division will use a safety management system (SMS) through Baldwin Safety that includes a preflight risk assessment program, a hazard reporting system, and a customized landing zone survey conducted for off-airport operations, allowing owners additional flexibility. It will use the same operational oversights for weather and performance planning as Flexjet’s jet program.