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Campaigners for Isles of Scilly helicopter service meet Transport Minister

Isles of Scilly helicopter service Credit: ITV Westcountry

A campaign group met the Transport Minister today after yesterday's closure of the Isles of Scilly helicopter service.

Norman Baker said he was 'convinced' of the importance of maintaining good transport links between the islands and the mainland, and was 'happy' to discuss how to maintain them further.

The 'Friends of Scilly Transport' group wants 'lifeline status' for the service. They say the islands could be cut off in winter without the helicopter service.

End of Scilly helicopter flights

It was the end of a chapter today for the Isles of Scilly - the last daily helicopter flight taking people to the mainland. British International Helicopters operated the world's oldest passenger service.

The company blames rising costs and falling passenger numbers.

It brings to a close nearly 50 years of helicopter travel between Penzance and the islands.

Duncan Sleightholme reports:

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Helicopter flights to Isles of Scilly end after 50 years

British International will cease flying later today. Credit: ITV Westcountry

Daily helicopter flights to the Isles of Scilly are ending today.

It brings to a close nearly 50 years of travel between Penzance and the islands. British International Helicopters blames rising costs and falling passenger numbers.

The last flight will leave Penzance heliport at 5:30 this evening.

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Flights between Penzance and the Isles of Scilly to cease

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.

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

– British International Helicopters Managing Director, Tony Jones

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.

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