Just six weeks after launch, Sloane Helicopters’ Ibiza-based heli sightseeing trips have been much in demand. With enquiries from as far away as Brazil, it seems that the Spanish island had a helicopter-shaped hole that needed filling.
Chief Pilot Jonny Greenall said: “Sloane has operated in Mallorca for 18 years, but 2013 is the first time that we have taken the step to base ourselves in Ibiza for certain dates. The move has paid off as within a few short weeks we have had enquiries from travel agencies, overseas helicopter charter companies, film producers, concierges and yacht brokers wanting to photograph their latest models from the air. It’s going well, we are very happy, just slightly kicking ourselves that we didn’t take the plunge in previous years.”
One man who welcomes the new service is James Fordham, Founder of St James Yachts Lifestyle Services Ibiza: “Over the past few years the calibre of Ibiza’s VVIP clientele has increased significantly. St Barths and St Tropez are in the past – the new money from East Asia and the Middle East is now coming to Ibiza as it’s seen as a prime destination. Russia is another serious source market – they can take a private jet here in two and a half hours yet it feels like the Caribbean for them. The response from these clients, and our collaborating partners, to the Ibiza helicopter service has been incredible, how better to see the island than from the sky, and the timing is perfect as our peak season is August to mid-October, later than usual as the closing parties have been pushed back this year. I am sure we’ll be keeping Sloane Helicopters very busy.”
Commercially licensed Sloane Helicopters has a fleet of four-seater (three passengers plus pilot) Robinson R44 aircraft available for use in Ibiza for various dates throughout summer 2013. Flying in and out of Ibiza Airport, the company offers heli-sightseeing trips and a platform for aerial photography. Guests can skim low over the turquoise waters off Formentera, soar high over the mystical 380-metre high island of Es Vedra, skirt the ‘beautiful people’ hangouts of Cala Jondal and Playa d’en Bossa, survey pretty inland countryside villages, and circle Ibiza’s stunning Old Town – a fortified acropolis and UNESCO World Heritage site.
Prices in Ibiza start from €499 for a 30-minute tour and €799 for one hour – that’s for the whole trip, not per person, regardless of whether one, two or three passengers are onboard. The cost includes landing charges, airport taxes, 21% IVA (VAT) and is from rotor start to rotor stop. Ad-hoc charter (such as hotel and restaurant transfers) are available where safe landing is possible, as are longer tours (sunrise to sunset only), training courses and gift vouchers.