Associated Aircraft Group and PremiAir are on the hunt for more partners to join their Global Executive Helicopter Network after launching the new venture on 1 May.

Following the tie-up, New York-based AAG and Oxford, UK-headquartered PremiAir aim to offer an integrated executive helicopter service to their clients spanning the north-eastern USA and London and the south-east of England, as well as other parts of Europe.

Sikorsky-owned AAG manages a fleet of 10 S-76s, while PremiAir is owned by luxury hotel operator von Essen Group and has a fleet of 15 executive helicopters including seven S-76s. This follows the recent addition of a VIP S-76C++ under management, establishing PremiAir as the largest European operator of the type.

The Global Executive Helicopter Network is run by AAG Global, a brand of Sikorsky Fractional Sales, and member operators are safety-audited by Aviation Research Group/US .

Sikorsky S-76C++
 © PremiAir

"The whole thing is a branding exercise," says AAG Global executive vice-president Tom McQuade. "You're taking the strongest brand in London and the strongest brand in New York for charter helicopter services, along with the strongest brand that I know of for [safety] auditing services, and forming an operation where each brand supports the other brand."

Talks are ongoing with potential new members of the Global Executive Helicopter Network in Florida, Belgium, Germany and the Middle East, says McQuade. "We're following Sikorsky sales," he says, adding that prospective members must operate at least one Sikorsky helicopter.

PremiAir group managing director David McRobert says: "The bottom line is that if you're an executive helicopter user and you want a helicopter in Paris, Berlin, the south of France, Rio de Janeiro or Hong Kong, the ultimate is to grow the network to the point where you can book a helicopter anywhere in the world using a network operator and you know it's going to be safe and you're going to get the 'Rolls-Royce' of services."

PremiAir manages and operates The London Heliport at Battersea, which is the UK capital's only commercial heliport. New business aviation terminal facilities are due to come on line at the site later this year, connected to a five-star hotel development.

AAG was founded by Vietnam War helicopter pilot John Agor two decades ago, and was acquired by Sikorsky in 1999.

Source: Flight International