Jump to content

Economic machine for heli-taxi operation


Recommended Posts

Hi All,

 

I am exploring options to decide on machine that can be used for intra-city heli taxi services.

To maintain affordability, following are the flight patterns:

1) 15 mins return hauls

2) 4 trips an hour

3) 6 hrs of operation every day

4) 300 days of operation a year.

This will equate to 1000 hours of flight hours a year.

 

I am very much interested to know

1) is 1000 hrs of flight time/annum achievable (availability and utilisation)?

2) which will be the best suited helicopter for this application

3) what other implications can such high flight hours have?

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many people?

Over open water?

What fuel types are readily available?

Who will maintain it?

Insurance?

What is your experience level....and on what machines?

What is your plan for the days it is down for servicing?

Annuals?

TBO or major work when its gone anlong time will you rent or lease a machine?

Where do you plan to land at both ends? And how easy is the access to the ramp for your customers?

What do you expect the average customer to have for baggage?

 

Sure I could say an R44 or whatever.

But are you taking 1 person per trip.....or 11 people?

 

You asked a question that is impossible to answer without a lot more information being provided.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many people?

4-5 pax at a time. Individual seats are sold.

Over open water?

A typical trip will be from airport to a point in city.

 

What fuel types are readily available? Fuelling facility available at airport side

Who will maintain it?

MRO on contract. That is the current structure/practice

Insurance? Standard insurance. Small leeways as flight path is defined with regular inspections at both points.

What is your experience level....and on what machines? I am Planning to hire pilots

What is your plan for the days it is down for servicing? Machine is going to be operational in this model for 300 days a year. Rest are maintenance days.

Annuals?

TBO or major work when its gone anlong time will you rent or lease a machine? Planning to have a fleet of four to cover for shortfalls.

Where do you plan to land at both ends? And how easy is the access to the ramp for your customers? Typical concrete helipads at both ends.

What do you expect the average customer to have for baggage? 15 + 5 kgs. Seeking payload of 500kgs

 

I am targeting costs sub $650 per flying hour. This will ensure per seat pricing within affordability limits and will ensure >80% occupancy.

 

 

Sure I could say an R44 or whatever.

But are you taking 1 person per trip.....or 11 people?

 

You asked a question that is impossible to answer without a lot more information being provided.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How many people?

4-5 pax at a time. Individual seats are sold.

Over open water?

A typical trip will be from airport to a point in city.

What fuel types are readily available? Fuelling facility available at airport side

Who will maintain it?

MRO on contract. That is the current structure/practice

Insurance? Standard insurance. Small leeways as flight path is defined with regular inspections at both points.

What is your experience level....and on what machines? I am Planning to hire pilots

What is your plan for the days it is down for servicing? Machine is going to be operational in this model for 300 days a year. Rest are maintenance days.

Annuals?

TBO or major work when its gone anlong time will you rent or lease a machine? Planning to have a fleet of four to cover for shortfalls.

Where do you plan to land at both ends? And how easy is the access to the ramp for your customers? Typical concrete helipads at both ends.

What do you expect the average customer to have for baggage? 15 + 5 kgs. Seeking payload of 500kgs

I am targeting costs sub $650 per flying hour. This will ensure per seat pricing within affordability limits and will ensure >80% occupancy.

Sure I could say an R44 or whatever.

But are you taking 1 person per trip.....or 11 people?

You asked a question that is impossible to answer without a lot more information being provided.

Carrying 4 to 5 passengers eliminates the little guys like a 44....and that is a lot of bags to.

And especially on short hops the hourly cost goes up.

So 650 an hour max operating cost and up to 5 passengers is going to be a tough order to fill.

I wish you all the best, but have no suggestions that help with your answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just ao you are aware, a 4-5 passenger helicopter is a turbine. Now add the pilot you are really looking for a 5-6 seat machine total. Minimum a 407, AStar?. So sub $650 an hour is not going to happen. Not even close. The costs per hour you were hoping for are now invalid. As far as the concrete heli-pads.... do you own the pads already? 15 min legs.... so the people really arent going that far. Does your service require them to arrange additional transportation after you get them to this "concrete pad"? Are you going to have ground handling crews at each end or will it require a complete shut down when you get them to where they are going?

Edited by Flying Pig
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just ao you are aware, a 4-5 passenger helicopter is a turbine. Now add the pilot you are really looking for a 5-6 seat machine total.

 

There's always an old S-55. I believe someone used them in a similar role back in the day? :huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the very least you are looking at something like a Bell 206 L 3, your DOC of 650 per hour, I don't think that is even close, I don't know were you tend to operate so its all just so much typing to hear one type! I never seen or heard of such a operation as being even profitable- Pan Am use to fly from downtown Manhatten to JKF back in the Day- they flew S-61's and after they had an accident it ended- I don't think it ever was profitable, this was back in the 1960- 1970's time frame! Pan Am is long gone as an airline! Helicopters are pretty much a nitch machine, you can make a buck with then, but the margins are small due to the costs associatied with helicopters, they are just expensive to buy and to fly no matter what machine you end up with! Best suited when there is no other way!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't imagine 6 hours a day 300 days in VFR only machines at any location. Anything approaching all-weather capability (IFR at a minimum) is going to exceed your target hourly $650 for 4-5 seats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the best place to start from here, is sitting down with a few people that really know the industry.

Make a business plan based on reality and hard facts, gleaned from extensive research.

If you do choose to go ahead and try this in the future......

Maybe start smaller...say a used r44 and see if there really is a market.

Sure you can only carry 3 passengers at best and minimal baggage.

But maybe you would find a more common trip is 2 or 3 people and not 5....or something else.....then base future machine purchases basednon that if you do expand someday.

Or if you find its not viable to keep operating the service, you can resell the 44 and not take such a hit on the depreciation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The original poster hasn't been back in a few weeks to comment. I think we are talking to ourselves.

 

We are a bunch of strangers throwing our opinions out into the void as if they really mattered?,...of course we are just talking to ourselves!

:huh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies all. I had been tracking th replies. Thanks to all for info/insights.

 

I think it's very difficult to achieve sub $650 per flying hour costs on a consistent basis. I am working on a all-you-can-fly model to see if a minimum number of subscriptions can mitigate risk and cover at least majority of fixed costs. Of course number of subscriptions is a function of what consumer is willing to pay. So will have to target frequent fliers.

 

Work still in nascent stages though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...