No Helicopters Next Week

There will be no helicopters on the route between the islands and the mainland next week.

British International Helicopters say one of their two aircraft is unable to fly because of technical problems found after a major refit.

And their back up helicopter, in use on the route over the last month, is committed to the Royal Navy next week and will be in Stornoway from Sunday.

Chief Executive Tony Jones spoke with Radio Scilly as he returned from Florida last night.

He says a team of Sikorsky specialists is coming over from Canada to fix the broken chopper.

Tony is returning to the UK to investigate an option to bring in three smaller helicopters to convey passengers next week. He offered one of these to the military but they insisted on the terms and conditions of their contract and want the larger chopper.

From the end of Saturday until at least Friday next week, Tony says there will be a contingency plan, which will see helicopter passengers transferred to Skybus.

Tony says they don’t have plans to put people on the boat in ordinary weather conditions.