01 March 2024

New West Coast Helicopter and Possible Skiplane Operations


INFLITE Group makes a grand return to flying on the West Coast, with INFLITE Franz & Fox Helicopters. An exciting extension that has become the immediate go-to for local and international tourists wanting exclusive access to the most incredible, scenic attractions of New Zealand’s South Island. The return launches a fresh portfolio of premium helicopter flight and landing products covering famous landmarks, including Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Aoraki/Mount Cook, and New Zealand’s longest glacier, the Tasman Glacier. From a new, dedicated base in the illustrious West Coast. ‘A return to Franz Josef has been on our roadmap ever since we purchased Skydive Franz Josef in 2018,’ says INFLITE Group CEO, Adam Joyce. ‘The past few years slowed our plans, but we are now excited to re-launch operations from Franz Josef in the form of INFLITE Franz and Fox Helicopters. The cherry on top being that world-exclusive glacier landing on the famous Tasman Glacier. This is an incredibly exciting development which further intrenches our investment in this amazing part of New Zealand’ INFLITE Group’s Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters business has successfully delivered spectacular experiences in the Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, with landings on the Tasman Glacier, for over 65 years. Already holding an established flight history in Franz Josef and Fox Glacier where INFLITE Group COO, James Meldrum, began flying a Ski Plane from in 2008. ‘The Franz and Fox Glacier region provides the most spectacular scenery imaginable to fly through, and nobody could be disappointed after that experience,’ shares Meldrum. ‘The snow landing on the Tasman glacier is the icing on the cake, as it provides different, but equally stunning scenery to that of the West Coast.’ Mount Cook Ski Plane’s operations had taken place from Franz Josef and Fox Glacier since around 1965. After a 10-year absence of bookable flight packages, it is thrilling for the company to commence operations again, initially with helicopters and building to a future with ski planes. ‘Yes, we do have plans to bring the infamous Ski Plane back to Franz Josef,’ shares Joyce. ‘So, we can offer our amazing Ski Plane & Helicopter Combo, The Ultimate Alpine Experience from both Aoraki/Mt Cook and Franz Josef. Watch this space.’ Finding a base beside INFLITE Group’s Skydive Franz and Fox, INFLITE Franz & Fox Helicopters offer utterly unique experiences including a flight and skydive combo. Where customers can enjoy a 30-minute Tasman Experience helicopter flight with glacier landing, AND select a date & time to jump 13,000ft out of a plane with the high-altitude experts at Skydive Franz and Fox. The ultimate deal for thrill seekers wanting to gain maximum altitude and adrenaline out of their trip to the South and witness its glory from all the richest vantage points. Flying across both Te Poutini and Aoraki/Mount Cook National Parks, clients can expect a feeling of awe, marvel, and total ease under the guidance of an experienced pilot, rich with local knowledge of the area. Soaring over picture-perfect landscapes and touching down on a tranquil glacier as old as time, boasting spectacular views, rare and beautiful photo opportunities, and deliciously clear alpine air. Bookings for all products, including the Combo, Tasman Experience, Glacier Grand Circle, and Picnic Amongst the Peaks, are available now at inflitefranz.nz or by direct emailing fly@inflitefranz.nz with your travel dates. Make your trip to the South something you will remember for a lifetime and take to the skies, mountains, and glaciers with INFLITE Franz & Fox Helicopters.

Source : Press Release: Inflite Charters, 21 February 2024

1 comment:

  1. Skiplane operations from the West Coast ended some time after the death of Mount Cook Skiplanes CEO Alex Millar. I flew with him on a couple of occasions from his private airstrip next to his house alongside Docherty Creek Road near Franz Josef Glacier. It was an interesting airstrip with 33kV feeder lines crossing the runway about a third of the way along it from the southeastern end adjacent to Alex's house.