The private aviation holding company, Directional Aviation, has added two more offerings to its portfolio. It has recently acquired Halo Aviation Ltd. (Halo), a leading provider of helicopter transportation services in the United Kingdom. This follows on the acquisition earlier this year of Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), the premier provider of executive Sikorsky helicopter service in the Northeastern United States.
Directional already owns fractional jet provider Flexjet and jet card pioneer Sentient Jet and their sister companies, FXAIR and PrivateFly, on-demand jet charter providers in both the U.S. and Europe. The company says the latest acquisitions are intended to enable them “to become leaders in vertical flight“ and “to develop the next generation of end-to-end private aviation offerings.”
Halo and AAG, both manage fleets of helicopters and are leading providers of vertical lift and urban mobility services in their respective nations. These acquisitions are intended to add a new group of helicopter customers from Flexjet, the second largest fractional jet provider in the world, and Sentient Jet, which has 8,000 active jet card holders. Directional says they will “will pave the way for a unique end-to-end travel solution not offered by any other provider.”
“My vision is to strategically position each of our flight providers to become a leader in its market,” said Kenneth C. Ricci, Principal, Directional Aviation, parent of OneSky Flight and its member companies. “Flexjet is the preeminent global fractional ownership company, Sentient Jet offers the industry’s leading jet card and FXAIR and PrivateFly have uniquely-positioned offerings in the on-demand charter space. Now, with the acquisition of Halo and AAG, we can add another market to that list: Vertical lift.”
Ricci added that the addition of Halo advances three important strategic goals, saying, “First, these acquisitions position us as a leader in the exciting future of vertical lift solutions. Second, it builds a core competency in urban mobility operations. Third it makes possible synergies with our other affiliated companies, like Flexjet and Sentient, allowing us to provide a complete aircraft travel solution. During the coming months, we will share with our customers and partners our plans for taking vertical lift services to the next level – perhaps through bolstering the fleet with a manufacturer order which could lead to a possible combination of powerhouse travel solutions.”
Founded in 2009 by William Fanshawe and Therese Bewsey, Halo Aviation is a helicopter travel services provider with bases in the south of England, around London, in the Midlands and in the Channel Islands. Headquartered in Cranleigh, Surrey, Halo Aviation serves a clientele of leaders in business, government and other fields as well as leisure travelers, providing connections between airports and city centers and between short-haul domestic destinations such as musical festivals, racecourses and other sports and entertainment events.
Halo operates six- and eight-seat Agusta/Leonardo helicopters, including the Agusta AW109 and AW169 models. The Agusta craft are produced by the helicopter division of Rome-based aerospace company Leonardo S.p.A., which previously had acquired the Agusta and AgustaWestland brands. Leonardo continues to produce a range of helicopters for commercial aviation, public service and military use, and manages the full range of operations from development to production to pilot training to after-sales support.
Associated Aircraft Group (AAG)
AAG was founded as a small helicopter charter operation in 1989. Ten years later, Sikorsky Aircraft purchased AAG for its unique business model to compliment the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and to lay the foundations for the Sikorsky Fractional Shares program. The company is ARGUS Platinum, Wyvern Wingman and IS-BAO Stage 3 rated. The operation has multiple bases throughout the Northeast including Wappingers Falls, NY, Bridgeport, CT, Trenton, NJ and Providence, RI.
AAG operates the Sikorsky S-76, the longest-running helicopter serving elite clienteles, with more than 40 years and 7.4 million hours of safe flight. AAG offers charter services, the AAG Excalibur Card (sold in 10-hour increments), Sikorsky Shares and New York-area airport transfer services. It also offers professional aircraft maintenance and management services for Sikorsky owners.
Between them the two companies have 50 employees and 24 helicopters in the US Northeast and UK.
“The acquisitions of Halo and AAG by themselves make us a leader in vertical lift,” said Andrew Collins, OneSky’s on-demand private jet travel and vertical lift lead. “They also provide the foundation for the future of global mobility, with the capabilities to provide outstanding service on two continents; to provide a platform for the entry into service of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) technology. In addition, they offer a critical, customer-benefiting differentiator for their fellow OneSky companies, providing the link between airports and final destinations. We look forward to bringing to vertical lift the same commitment to excellence in customer service that we have to our other private aviation markets.”
Andrew Collins told SherpaReport “For the time being, AAG and Halo Aviation will operate just as they have been. In the coming months, we will further detail our plans to grow and develop these vertical lift capabilities, the helicopter access programs we will be moving forward with and how they will complement our existing fractional, jet card and on demand private jet travel offerings to generate a unique end-to-end travel solution.”