Cheers and rejoicing erupted among Helicopter Seychelles staff as the company received approval to resume full commercial passenger flights.
The Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority has awarded an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to the paradise island operator following a lengthy and complex application process.
Passenger flights began on Sunday. The company offers day and night-time tourist transfers to remote island resorts, scenic flights and excursions, as well as medical evacuation services using twin-engine Agusta 109C and single-engine Bell JetRanger B206s.
Head of Operations Captain Shaun Tinkler-Rose announced the news to jubilant employees at the company’s Mahé island HQ, calling it “a hard-fought battle and well-deserved victory”.
He said: “From the day we decided to re-launch, we’ve had the total support of Seychelles people. We’re their helicopter company, a source of national pride. “
“We have a terrific team of talented and motivated people working for us and exciting growth plans for the future,” he added. “We’re promising a fantastic service, great prices, underpinned by an absolute commitment to safety. This is a great day for Seychelles.”
Helicopter Seychelles has undergone a year-long internal restructuring, comprising new management and engineering teams, and upgrades to its maintenance facilities and aircraft, after withdrawing from the commercial aviation market in 2010.
Founded in 1992, Helicopter Seychelles is a privately-owned company employing around 20 local staff alongside British and South African ex-patriot pilots and engineers.