Aviaxess overcomes ‘challenge’ of forming relationships with established operators

French helicopter and business jet charter company Aviaxess has launched Europe’s first helicopter block charter card, the Corporate Helicard, and plans to expand it throughout the region if demand grows.

Paris-based Aviaxess has established operator members in 12 European cities, says president Frederic Aguettant, giving the company access to 35 helicopters ranging from the Eurocopter AS350 light single to the Sikorsky S-76 medium twin.

Aviaxess owns and manages a fleet of six helicopters including a Eurocopter EC135 and AgustaWestland A109 Power. Aguettant admits that forming relationships with established operators in mainland Europe has been a challenge. “Here, helicopters are commonly used for aerial work and not for VIP transport,” so many aircraft are ill-equipped to ferry business passengers, he says.

Aguettant hopes the block charter card will provide the company and its operator members with a consistent revenue stream, which may prompt the purchase of more helicopters dedicated to VIP use.

Aviaxess is in talks with Europe’s leading business aircraft fractional ownership and charter companies NetJets Europe and Skyjet International with a view to establishing tailored transport for their members, who Aguettant says may benefit from fast and direct helicopter shuttles to reach their final destinations.

The Helicard is available in 25h and 50h blocks at a fixed price throughout Europe, Aguettant says. For example 25h in an AS350 costs €26,250 ($31,800), although a customer who uses the helicopter for half a day “will only be charged for 1h”, he adds.


Source: Flight International