Four new helicopters, including an S76, have been purchased by von Essen Aviation taking its owned fleet to nine aircraft, eight immediately available for charter.
Greg Ward, executive director, sales and marketing, von Essen says: "This makes us the first private air charter company in the U.K. to own and operate three Sikorsky helicopters."
The fleet is operated in association with PremiAir Aviation Services of Uxbridge, Middlesex, which has two additional helicopters for charter.
The association with PremiAir was announced in December to provide hotel guests with the convenience of a helicopter on standby or charter and this has expanded to include luxury holiday packages. Clients are mostly from the U.K. with some from Europe.
Part of von Essen hotels, which operates a selection of luxury country house hotels, von Essen Aviation offers champagne helicopter transfers as part of its travel breaks. Prices start at #1,850 per flight for four people.
Ward says: "Helicopter breaks are available to a selection of von Essen properties nationwide and all include an automatic room upgrade. They then vary from including a complementary champagne cruise on one of the Lake Ullswater steamers when booking a stay at Sharrow Bay in Cumbria, to a two day gourmet weekend break in the Cotswolds, with three course dinner and lunch and a countryside activity, such as horse riding or golf."
He adds: "Sikorsky S76 helicopters have a luxurious appeal and are the preferred method of transport for a number of high-profile celebrities. They feature a leather interior and mini-bar and are able to carry up to six passengers comfortably with a maximum capacity for nine."