Heli-Flite is in discussions to link its planned helicopter fractional ownership programme with one of the major US-based business jet shared ownership schemes.

The company plans to start operations in April in Texas, with two Bell 430s serving the area within a 450km (250nm) radius of Dallas/ Fort Worth. Heli-Flite hopes to have at least five helicopters in service by year end, including Bell-owned core fleet 430s at a ratio of one for every two fractionally owned aircraft.

"We are talking about a possible alliance with two of the major fixed-wing [fractional ownership] operators," says president Mark Ozenick. A link-up would allow the operators to offer "door-to-door" service to owners.

Heli-Flite plans to grow its helicopter fractional ownership programme within five years to a total of 35 aircraft in five regions. After the Texas launch, the company plans to locate two 430s each in Denver, New York and Southern California.

Ozenick says Heli-Flite plans to offer only Bell products. The company is looking at offering shares in the Bell 407 and 427, and is "definitely interested" in the Bell/ Agusta BA609 tiltrotor. "The 609 would allow us to expand our operating radius," he says.

Source: Flight International