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Monacair plans VIP sales drive for EC120 helicopter

JUSTIN WASTNAGE / FONTVIELLE

Monaco's rotorcraft charter operator is inviting 50 clients to a flight trial of the aircraft

Monaco's helicopter charter operator Monacair is to embark on a two-month sales drive to market its new Eurocopter EC120 Colibri VIP to tour operators and hotels.

The company is inviting its 50 most important clients on a trial flight of the aircraft, which was delivered from Eurocopter in July.

The five-seat Colibri joins a VIP-configured AS350B1 Twinstar Ecureuil and AS365N Dauphin in Monacair's fleet. The company, which operates Monaco's Royal flight from its Fontvielle base, plans to add incentive, panoramic and package tour flights as it expands the business.

More than 35% of Monacair's business is linking Monaco residents with yachts moored along France's Côte d'Azur and neighbouring Italian Riviera, with 20% of flights connecting customers with fixed-wing business aircraft at Cannes Mandelieu or Nice airports, says Stéphanie Micheau, commercial manager.

In addition, Monacair is holding negotiations with large corporations to provide long-term wetlease deals to cover heavy maintenance downtime. "Building on some ad hoc charters over the past two years, we want to propose a service to large helicopter owners in the region to lease our helicopter and crew for one- or two-month periods while their own helicopters are out of service," says Micheau. Monacair expects the Dauphin to fulfil most wet-lease bookings, due to many life insurance companies' conditions, which may necessitate acquiring an additional type, she adds.

Monacair is poised to sign a long-term hangarage deal to an undisclosed customer by the end of the year.

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