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Helicopters: Three Private Operators In Our Skies Soon

They want to expand the helicopter services and offer a new experience to Mauritians. Three private helicopter companies have shown interest to start these activities.

If Xavier-Luc Duval, tourism minister says the decision was taken a year ago, he confirmed that the three companies were licensed for operation recently. “Nous avons donné le permis à trois opérateurs dans l’espoir qu’ils reviennent. Là nous attendons qu’ils fassent toutes leurs démarches auprès du département de l’aviation civile,” he says.

According to the minister, these “other products” will not only modernize the service, but also bring new life to the helicopter sector, especially as “Air Mauritius helicopters are single-engine and are very old.” “Ils vont assurer un nouveau service entre Maurice et La Réunion,” says Xavier-Luc Duval.

Among the three companies, only RotorEquip announced the beginning of its operations in August. “Nous avons vu que Maurice est limité en termes d’activités liées aux hélicoptères. Nous avons fait une demande au département de l’aviation civile. Les cinq étapes seront bientôt complétées,” hopes Christopher Piggott from RotorEquip.

Recorded in Mauritius since 2009, the company has 62% of Mauritian shareholders and 38% of foreigners. RotorEquip is also a member of the Helicopter Association International.

Nocturnal Excursions
The company offers a range of 24/7 services, including airport-hotel transfers, sightseeing flights with visibility to 180 degrees, transfer to the Reunion Island and day trips. Gear used: the new airbus H155B1 that can carry eight to 12 passengers, with ample space for luggage and a single-engined EC130 B4 / T2 new generation, which can carry six passengers. Christopher Piggott, with 30 years of experience in the helicopter industry, will drive operations. The base of operations is the Yu Lounge at SSR airport.

RotorEquip are already thinking about the future. The company wants to offer innovative services, including emergency medical services helicopter tours of Port Louis Cruise Liner Terminal, overnight trips, a corporate charter for businessmen, aerial surveys and visits sites. They also wants to start a Flight Training and Technical Academy to improve technology transfers and increase awareness among the Mauritians aviation enthusiasts.

The concept Iles Vanille
Another provider is Corail Hélicoptères de La Réunion. The director Fabrice Lourme who had confided in our columns, claimed to be negotiating for two years with the Mauritian authorities “in order to establish a subsidiary in Mauritius to maximize our tourism.” “L’idée du concept Îles Vanille vient offrir la possibilité d’associer les deux destinations, avec un intérêt pour les deux îles,” he said.

Besides tourist flights, airport-hotel transfers, Corail Helicopters will offer inter-island crossings in his twin-engine aircraft, including Squirrels AS 355 NP, with two turbines and a maximum tank capacity is 730 liters. L’Express asked Corail Helicopters to know the beginning of its operations but in vain.

The third company is Helilagon. Based on the sister island, it has over 25 years experience in passenger transport. The fleet consists of nine helicopters Eurocopter Squirrels, six twin-engine and has so far carried more than 450,000 passengers.

Another operator, Hellitimes, had applied for a permit to operate a helicopter service using two AS355 Eurocopters – F2S, which can carry six passengers each. The director Philippe Hitié of Summertimes who said he would not “unveil his strategy,” notes that the application is still pending.

On the side of Air Mauritius, the company wanted to separate aircraft operations and those related to helicopters in creating the Mauritius Helicopters Limited. This trade comes subsidiary, as the Chief Executive Officer Megh Pillay silence “this persistent rumor” to find a buyer for its pole helicopter operations.

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