SUNBIZ

Let’s Go Local: Experience A Helicopter Joy Ride, View Developed Suva

Joyce Aviation (Fiji) Ltd trading as Heli-Tours Fiji is offering Suva residents an Introductory Joy Flight on its Robinson R44 helicopter.
07 Jun 2020 13:01
Let’s Go Local: Experience A Helicopter Joy Ride, View Developed Suva
The LifeFlight Fiji team standing infront of the AS355 twin squirrel engine helicopter specially equipped for Medivac on June 6, 2020. Photo: Maraia Vula

If you are in Suva today and a helicopter ride is on your bucket list, then you are in luck!

Joyce Aviation (Fiji) Ltd trading as Heli-Tours Fiji is offering Suva residents an Introductory Joy Flight on its Robinson R44 helicopter.

Robinson R44 caters

The Robinson R44 carries three passenger ses which means everybody has window seat.

The first successful Helicopter Joyflight yesterday at the Suva Foreshore saw more than 50 residents take advantage of it.

Today they will be open from 8am-12pm.

The 15 minutes joy ride at an affordable price of $120 per person was initiated by the company as something to try and motivate people to get their minds off COVID-19.

With the lockdown, curfews and movement restrictions, it’s a little something for people to enjoy and tick off their bucket list.

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Company managing director Tim Joyce said there have received a good response from Suva residents.

“We had it scheduled a few weeks ago but we had to cancel because of bad weather,” Mr Joyce said.

“This is the first time, we have relocated our operations in Suva. We had a lot of interest from Suva, we had to get a lot of advance bookings.We have done similar scenic trips in Nadi and Lautoka.

“It’s an opportunity to give exposure to people to go for a flight over Suva.

“We can guarantee exclusively, that they’re not having to share that helicopter with other passengers and everybody has a window seat.”

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For Bikashni Kumar surprising her son, Jaisal Kumar with a Helicopter Joyflight was a well deserved late birthday gift.

“I started planning this surprise trip for my son, last week.

“I think the timing was right, because just yesterday (Friday) the Prime Minister had declared that the country is COVID Free.

“So let’s celebrate and praise Lord for all our health workers and our Government of the day that they have put in so much effort, we are able to come out and victorious.”

It was 11-year-old, Jaisal’s first helicopter ride which he described as the perfect birthday gift that gave him an amazing exprience.

AS355 twin squirrel engine helicopter

Also on display was the company’s AS355 twin squirrel engine helicopter used during Medivac.

Mr Joyce said he teamed up with the Fiji Aeromedical & Rescue Services Trust founder and trustee Anthony Blake, to develop Medivac capabilities and Search and Rescue (SAR) in Fiji with the vision of ensuring access to health and care services for all Fijians. Together, they established LifeFlight Fiji with the support of LifeFlight Australia (previously Care Flight) for technical and training support.

Operations

The company was not spared by COVID-19 pandenmic.

Mr Joyce said the company was probably one of the worst hit because they were about 85 per cent dependent on Chinese tourists for scenic tourism and skydiving.

“They were the first basically shut off by the end of January when they stopped flights to China.

“Of course, February normally our busiest month because of Chinese New Year, became the quietest period for most people, so it’s been devastating for us.

“We’ve got close to 80 staff, and most of them are off on leave without pay.

“We’re having to pay and try to keep them involved and bring them in because we’ve invested very heavily in the staff.

“The main thing is we need to be able to survive.

“Live one way or another until there is a turnaround because there will be a recovery.

“Fiji’s got everything going for it and we just have to overcome this and I suppose be very active.”

The LifeFlight Fiji team standing infront of the AS355 twin squirrel engine helicopter (left) while the The Robinson R44 comes in after taking a group on a 15 minutes scenic tour of Suva on June 6, 2020. Photo: Maraia Vula

The LifeFlight Fiji team standing infront of the AS355 twin squirrel engine helicopter (left) while the Robinson R44 comes in after taking a group on a 15 minutes scenic tour of Suva on June 6, 2020. Photo: Maraia Vula

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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