The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group says it is 'disappointed' and 'saddened' by the decision by British International Helicopters (BIH) to cease its flights between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly from November.
– Andrew May, Chairman of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group
In the absence of another operator coming forward our focus now must be to work with the island community to ensure that we do our best to compensate for this loss of service. The Steamship Company CEO and full Board of course routinely considers strategic risks and changes to our business and although we were not anticipating this outcome we are confident we can respond by looking at our scheduling and how we deploy our air and sea resources.
BIH says it can no longer afford to run the route which has been going for almost 50 years.
Helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly will cease from the end of October. British International Helicopters says it cannot afford to run the route which has been going for 49 years. It blames the delay on selling the heliport at Penzance to raise funds.
– British International Helicopters Managing Director, Tony Jones
The route has run for 49 years so this is an extremely sad announcement for BIH, its employees and its customers - in fact the whole of West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Unfortunately we had no alternative
The company will honour all customer flights booked up until 31 October 2012. Anyone with a flight booked after 1 November will be given a full refund. The closure of the heliport will affect employees and the company has entered a formal redundancy consultation process.
The Government has confirmed that work to develop and upgrade Merlin helicopters made by Agusta Westland of Yeovil wll go ahead. They will replace existing Sea Kings from 2016 and be based at RNAS Yeovilton.