Posted 5 years 141 days ago ago by Admin
Over the last 10 years, the vehicles on Southern California’s roads have multiplied like rabbits. Unsurprisingly, there’s been increasing demand for helicopter charter services to fly over the traffic jams. Helinet Aviation, in business since 1987, answers this need by providing unparalleled helicopter services for multiple markets. Their VIP charter division has seen a significant increase in clientele over the past few years as they have become the top choice for clients who fly above it all. “Anyone who lives in Southern California understands the freeway system is a gridlock nightmare,” says Brady Bowers, manager of Helinet Aviation’s charter division. “Corporate executives do not have time to waste sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That travel agony has really encouraged an increase in clientele for VIP charter."
While traffic troubles are a great motivator for corporate executives to turn to Helinet Aviation’s charter services, the driving force behind the popularity of the company is the operator’s quality of service, top of the line helicopters, safety, comfort, and speed that comes with every flight. Customers can make one call to organize their entire trip by using the company’s network of car service and jet charter partners.
Helinet Aviation’s base in Van Nuys, California, provides a location that is central to the destinations most frequently requested for charter. Bowers says, "We regularly fly south to San Diego, north to San Luis Obispo, east to Palm Springs, and anywhere in between. However, we also are seeing our customers traveling as far north as San Francisco and Las Vegas. We are well equipped to complete these flights safely, while keeping our customers comfortable in our fleet of state-of-the-art luxury helicopters."
The operator’s executive fleet of 16 helicopters includes four AgustaWestland (now Leonardo) A-109E Powers and A-109SP Grands, as well as the larger Sikorsky S76B powered by twin turboshaft PT6 engines. The 109s are equipped to transport four passengers in comfort, while the S-76B carries six. All helicopters feature the fastest airspeeds in the industry, with the ability to maintain over 140 knots, and each have retractable landing gear, fine leather interiors, and noise canceling headsets with Bluetooth connectivity.
Helinet Aviation has not only invested heavily in its fleet, but it also pays for the highest quality pilots, training, and management, while providing complete customer service. For example, the company realizes its clients may need to change a flight time at a moment’s notice, so Helinet Aviation has the systems in place to allow for such flexibility. All of this makes them a force within the helicopter charter industry.
Many of the company’s clients refer business associates and close personal friends. "For years, Helinet has been exceeding customer needs, and through referrals and strong networking we have seen a growing demand to provide efficient and high quality transport beyond our typical area of Southern California,” says Al Sousa, director of operations for Helinet Aviation. “Customers often request flights to Napa Valley’s wine country and the San Francisco Bay area, and we’ve even had helicopters travel to Texas, Arizona, and Nevada, to fly clients to NASCAR and Formula One auto races.”
Using their intricate knowledge, goodwill, and relationships, Helinet Aviation can nearly always make arrangements to get clients to their destination. Such quality service makes the operator the exclusive provider of VIP helicopters for “The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,” a yearly destination event for owners of classic cars in Carmel, California.
As with any service business, Helinet Aviation’s people are the key to its success. Many pilots and corporate staff members have been with the company for many years; they clearly understand the company's goals. With this longevity comes stability, friendships, and the ability to work as one.
This unity is what Helinet Aviation founder Alan Purwin set out to achieve. He passed away in late 2015, but the culture and professionalism he instilled has allowed his legacy to live. His wife, Kathryn Purwin, took over as CEO and continues her late husband’s mission. Although 2015 was very difficult, she knows that Alan wanted the company to move forward and expand. “Alan put his life and soul into Helinet and nothing was more important to him than his team,” says Purwin. "The entire team works tirelessly with great attention to detail to not only meet, but exceed the expectations of our customers. It is simply incredible.”
In addition to being highly recognized in the charter industry, Helinet Aviation has also become known for providing a wide variety of other helicopter services such as electronic news gathering (ENG), emergency medical transport, and video production services.
The operator provides ENG services for top news stations in the Los Angeles area, and was the first to pioneer the use of HD gyro-stabilized camera systems and HD microwave downlink systems for ENG use. Today, they continue to use cutting edge open-platform camera systems that can handle the ever changing needs of newsgathering.
Since 1998, Helinet Aviation has also served as the primary provider of emergency medical transport for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). They keep two dedicated Sikorsky helicopters available 24/7 to transport critically ill children from across the region to CHLA for life-saving treatment. In addition, they also provide full service transportation for the organ transplant teams at UCLA, USC, and Cedars Sinai.
With one of the largest fleets of single- and twin-engine turbine helicopters in the industry, it’s no surprise that Helinet Aviation is also a premiere provider of aerial video services for the film and television community. Whether in California or elsewhere, the company’s nationwide network of contacts makes sure that all production needs are met. They not only provide a helicopter to any location, but they can also paint or wrap the aircraft to meet the needs of the production team. A roster of Hollywood’s hottest directors have worked with them, and the company continues to help bring stunning aerial shots to screens both big and small.
Helinet Aviation serves so many different markets that one can’t help but ask what may be next for the company that started with one man’s vision and just one helicopter. “Alan would be so proud to see how his team has not only continued his legacy, but grown stronger in all aspects, particularly the VIP transport side of Helinet," says Purwin. “I have no doubt that we will continue to make an impact on this industry for years to come.”