Experiencing the New Flexjet European Helicopter Service: Seamless Luxury Travel

Flexjet, a leading fractional jet ownership firm, has made its mark in Europe by becoming the first private jet operator to introduce an integrated helicopter division. This move comes after the successful launch of a similar service in the United States. Flexjet’s European helicopter service aims to offer a seamless door-to-door experience for its customers, allowing them to bypass traffic congestion and reach their destinations with ease.

Marine Eugene, Flexjet’s European managing director, highlights the complementary nature of helicopters to private jets. While jets can access thousands of airports worldwide, they still face limitations in terms of landing proximity to the final destination. Helicopters bridge this gap by providing a convenient last-mile service, allowing passengers to land in locations such as their own gardens or on the rooftops of their companies.

To experience this new offering firsthand, the author embarks on a journey that starts with a flight on one of Flexjet’s nine-seater Embraer Praetor 600 jets. The first stop is Newcastle Airport, where the next leg of the journey awaits aboard a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter bound for Edinburgh’s prestigious Prestonfield House hotel.

Despite initial reservations about helicopters, the author’s concerns are quickly alleviated upon encountering the Sikorsky S-76. Known for its safety record and impressive range, this super-midsize helicopter can cover distances of up to 300 nm, making trips from central London to destinations like Dublin or Paris feasible. The flight is piloted by two experienced aviators, ensuring a secure and comfortable travel experience.

The plush eight-seat cabin inside Flexjet’s new Sikorsky S-76 helicopter / ©Flexjet

The helicopter’s well-insulated cabin allows passengers to appreciate the scenic views as they soar above the picturesque coastline and landmarks like Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh. The 100 nm journey takes less than 30 minutes, concluding with a smooth landing in the grounds of Prestonfield House.

Once on the ground, the author is treated to a private dinner prepared by the renowned chefs at Rhubarb, the hotel’s restaurant. The conversation turns to sustainability within private aviation, with Marine Eugene discussing Flexjet’s commitment to offsetting carbon emissions and exploring future possibilities for sustainable aviation fuel. Flexjet’s partnership with Eve Air Mobility offers an exciting prospect of incorporating 100% electric eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft into their European helicopter division by 2026.

Flexjet’s foray into the European helicopter market represents a significant milestone in the private aviation industry. By combining the convenience of helicopters with their established private jet services, Flexjet aims to provide a seamless and luxurious travel experience for its discerning clientele. Furthermore, their focus on sustainability demonstrates a commitment to minimizing the environmental impact of private aviation while embracing innovative solutions for the future.