Sikorsky S-76 operators are being offered the chance to become part of a globally branded franchise network that will market its members' charter services to globetrotting business people.

AAG Global is being launched by Sikorsky-owned New York-based S-76 operator Associated Aircraft Group, with the aim, says AAG president Tom McQuade, of "providing the industry's first executive helicopter service to clients travelling internationally".

Members' standards of service will be independently monitored by Aviation Research Group/US and each operator will pay a commission to AAG Global for business sourced through the network. In turn they will receive a payment every time they refer a customer to a fellow operator.

Sikorsky S-76
 © Sikorsky

Although they will continue to fly under their own name, they will be expected to co-brand themselves as "an AAG Global company", says McQuade. He adds: "Travellers will be assured seamless access to the most efficient travel no matter where in the world their travels take them."

AAG was bought by Sikorsky in 1999 and has a fleet of 10 S-76s, three of them managed, three fractionally owned and three which it owns itself. The scheme will be launched publicly in April, by which time McQuade hopes to have operators on board in a number of key cities such as London, Hong Kong and Paris.

As well as providing additional revenue for Sikorsky operators AAG Global has another objective. "Part of the idea is to sell Sikorsky helicopters," says McQuade.

Source: Flight International