Flexjet Launches Private Helicopter Division

Recent acquisition of the Associated Aircraft Group (AAG) will power complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners.

[Courtesy: Flexjet]

Fractional jet company Flexjet has launched a private helicopter division through a recent acquisition of the Associated Aircraft Group (AAG). 

Flexjet will offer complimentary helicopter hours to its Gulfstream G650 fractional owners through the service and will sell add-on fractional, lease, and charter access in Flexjet-branded Sikorsky S-76 helicopters. Moreover, owners will have access to on-demand regional travel and last-mile transport from airports to their final destination as a door-to-door offering.

Flexjet CEO Michael Silvestro said the new service would enhance his company’s service by combining fixed-wing and private urban mobility.

“Today, more and more travelers seek an alternative to crowded forms of transportation–opting instead for easier, safer, and less stressful options from beginning to end. In addition, this enhanced segment of the Flexjet experience allows our clients to become even more productive with their time,” Silvestro said.

Flexjet has promoted a current sales team member, Eli Flint, to president of the Flexjet private helicopter division. Flint will oversee the operations of the nearly 50 former AAG sales managers, mechanics, operations team members, and pilots. 

While the service is being launched in select cities in the U.S., Flexjet expects to grow the division domestically and in Europe over the next five years as point-to-point vertical aviation demand increases worldwide.

“I know how important this time-saving program will be to Flexjet’s busy fractional jet owners. I am proud to lead this group of aviation professionals,” said Flint, who is type rated in several business jets and until recently was a leader in private jet sales for Flexjet working in the Southeast market.

The company said its foray into helicopters was born out of its Red Label brand, which features the youngest fleet in the industry with an average age of six years, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft, and the LXi Cabin Collection interiors. The company described the service as the next step to offering private aviation solutions.

The Sikorsky S-76 has been in production for more than 40 years and has a longstanding safety track record, with more than 7.5 million hours of safe flight. Flexjet will outfit its S-76s with a seating configuration for up to six passengers plus two pilots in the additions to its fleet. In terms of performance, the aircraft can fly at 155 knots and has a range of 300 nm, which is more than sufficient for urban travel.

Helicopter operations will be seasonally located in the northeastern states and in Florida throughout the year to launch the service. In addition to providing connections between airports and city centers, Flexjet will offer its owner trips to short-haul regional destinations such as conventions, music festivals, and other sports and entertainment events.

Michael Wildes holds a master’s degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Previously, he worked at the university’s flight department as a Flight Check Airman, Assistant Training Manager, and Quality Assurance Mentor. He holds MEI, CFI & CFII ratings. Follow Michael on Twitter @Captainwildes.

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