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Ceuta-based company plans helicopter link from Gib to Malaga airport

Plans are in place for a new helicopter service to start in mid-September, enabling passengers to fly from Gibraltar to Malaga airport in half an hour.

The Spanish regional press this week announced that Ceuta-based Helity, who have been running the Ceuta-Algeciras route for the past three years, were hoping to expand its offerings.

Antonio Barranco, Helity’s CEO, confirmed the announcement, adding that he hopes to see the service become a reality soon.

The Augusta Westland 139 helicopters can carry between 12 and 15 passengers on a trip and will have a similar pricing to the Ceuta to Malaga trips, Mr Barranco said. Round trips on that route come in at around 300 euros.

With flights planned for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and in the morning and evenings, Mr Barranco hopes this will become a popular choice for those travelling to Malaga for meetings or as a quick transfer for passengers hoping to travel to other destinations from Malaga airport.

“This is a very comfortable way of travelling,” Mr Barranco told the Chronicle.

“It will provide a quick transfer for visitors to the Rock flying into Malaga from other European destinations, while also providing a service for Gibraltarians going to Malaga to fly to other destinations.”

“Malaga is one of the busiest airports in Andalusia, connecting people from this area to many destinations in Europe and around the world, and we are working with Malaga Airport to help Gibraltarians transfer from one terminal to another internally to catch their next flight.”

Here in Gibraltar, Helity has been in conversation with GibAir to use the local services and the local ground staff.

“We have been in talks with the Gibraltar Government and those at Gibraltar International Airport since last summer, who welcomed the idea,” Mr Barranco said.

“We were due to launch the service in early spring, but this was delayed because of the Covid-19 global health crisis.”

“We hope to start as soon as the Malaga airport and the frontier resume normal service.”

But with Gibraltar set to exit the European Union at the end of the year, Mr Barranco fears that if no agreement is reached before then the service will not be able to run.

He is hoping that an agreement will be negotiated so that the service can continue.

“This is a new route and it will need the appropriate marketing in order to make it a success,” Mr Barranco said.

“It is an efficient service and the views along the Costa del Sol are well worth the journey and the helicopter that will be used is the Ferrari of helicopter in passenger transfers.”

For its part, the Government of Gibraltar said it has been approached by Helity with a view to introducing helicopter flights between Gibraltar and Malaga.

“The Government welcomes any initiative to create are links between Gibraltar and other countries including Spain,” a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said.

“The Government does not believe there are any political implications in Helity’s proposals which would be a purely commercial arrangement.”

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