Helicopter transfers from the airport to city center deliver great time savings. Alas, they are also often expensive for passengers, reducing demand such that scheduled operations are rare. With its new service at Nice, France, however, La Compagnie is hoping to change that story. The carrier announced today connections service with Monegasque helicopter company, Monacair, providing a quick and seamless connection for travelers bound for Monaco.
The Monacair flights operate roughly every 30 minutes, meaning travelers are never waiting too long for their 7 minute trip between the Nice airport and Monaco’s heliport. Service is provided on Airbus H130 helicopters seating six passengers and includes access to priority security screening and hotel transfers to/from the helipad.
The transfers price at $170 one way or $300 per passenger for round-trip service. That rate is a slight discount from the direct booking option and also ensures that connections are protected in the case of delays or other issues.
“We are excited to partner with leading helicopter company, Monacair, which impressed us with its deep experience in VIP transportation as well as its understanding of long-haul business travelers,” said Jean Charles Périno, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for La Compagnie. “This new service offers a world of convenience and reliability for our travelers – and that is what luxury is all about these days.”
Beyond luxury, the arrangement must make financial sense for both parties. Odds are it does. The overhead for La Compagnie is minimal to deliver the connections and it is another sales channel for Monacair that does not require much of a discount from list price. And the fact that the company is already well established in the operation of the flights also doesn’t hurt.
One potential drawback for some business travelers is that the H130 is a single-turbine aircraft. Depending on corporate travel policies and safety allowances that might not be permitted; twin-engine options can be a minimum for some companies. Of course, using the smaller, single-engine craft is part of how Monacair is able to operate the trips economically, so that cuts both ways.
It is also worth noting that while the partnership was officially announced this week it has been available in a soft-launch mode for a couple weeks now.