Covid-19 Grounds Helitour Operators

 - March 23, 2020, 10:18 AM

This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.

The Covid-19 crisis has shut down helitour operations from New York to Hawaii, with some operators planning to remain closed into late April. In New York City, Liberty Helicopters said it is closed until April 1, when it has “every intention” of re-opening.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Helicopter Experience is shut down “temporarily” until further notice. Las Vegas operators including Maverick and Papillon have also suspended most tour operations, although Maverick said it would continue to operate tours from the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Maverick said its operations in Las Vegas and Hawaii would be closed “through April 16.” In Hawaii, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters has canceled Maui tours until April 3.

Local officials in several of these jurisdictions have issued “shelter in place” orders banning travel for all but essential activities. In announcing its service suspension, Maverick said it was complying “with state mandates and to endure the safety of our guests and employees.” On Friday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered the closing of all “non-essential” businesses. Hawaii has effectively grounded air tours there by requiring visitors to the islands to quarantine for 15 days.