Heli Glenorchy acquires Heliworks Queenstown – builds on brand for future

Heli Glenorchy, owned by Action Helicopters Limited and one of the Southern Lakes’ top scenic helicopter companies, has announced the acquisition of Heliworks Queenstown.

Heli Glenorchy director and chief pilot Nick Nicholson and co-director and maintenance controller Blair Christmas said they were proud and delighted to announce the move, which comes into effect today (Tuesday 1 September 2020).

Heliworks Queenstown was founded by the legendary Sir Richard (Hannibal) Hayes, who is renowned for extraordinary feats of search and rescue in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Meanwhile Heli Glenorchy’s Nick Nicholson grew up in Te Anau and has spent the majority of his flying career in the mountains of Fiordland, the Southern Lakes region and Alaska, including invaluable time spent working for Sir Richard.

Nick’s love and intimate knowledge of flying in the region led him to set up Heli Glenorchy five years ago.

Heli Glenorchy operates from the Glenorchy Airstrip on the doorstep of the Southern Alps, Mount aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. The five-year-old company boasts a modern fleet of helicopters, a 100% safety record, highly-experienced local pilots and access to remote locations with spectacular alpine scenery.

Heliworks Queenstown Helicopters 2012 Ltd has a proven reputation for excellence. It offers a wide range of Queenstown and Glenorchy scenic flight experiences, and provides a range of helicopter services from search and rescue and commercial operations to filming and tourism.

Heliworks Queenstown is also renowned for its proposals and wedding services, working with professional wedding photographers, celebrants and planners to fly wedding parties to unique locations.

Nick and Blair said it was a “privilege” to take the reins of such an iconic brand.

“We’re excited about the opportunity and challenge that lies ahead,” said Nick.

“Hannibal built this brand from the ground up, and I was lucky enough to work beside him for a number of years. Taking this business into the future is now a dream realised, even in these trying times.”

Hannibal said he was proud to see Heliworks Queenstown going into the safe and capable hands of Nick, who he respected both as a former employee and director of another locally-operated and family-owned helicopter company.

“My wife Carol and I are happy to hand on the baton to Nick who we’re sure will continue the good name we’ve strived so long to establish,” he said.

“Nick’s a good kiwi bloke and has a close-knit, talented team including local pilots. They’re specialists in both commercial operations and scenic experiences.

“I’m sure the company will continue as it always has done, offering efficient, high-quality service with safety and professionalism as its highest priority, building on the reputation we’ve established and cherishing our history.”

Sir Richard and Lady Carol Hayes will continue to operate Southern Lakes Helicopters Ltd in Fiordland and the Mount Cook operations.  “We are looking forward to a close working relationship with the new Heliworks team.”

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Fiordland locals encouraged to ‘Host A Holiday’ for friends and family

Fiordland has come up with a unique initiative encouraging locals to invite their friends and family into town, just in time for the September school holidays.

Businesses have jumped at the opportunity to be part of ‘Host A Holiday’, providing locals with something free-of-charge if they bring full paying out-of-towners to their business.

Te Anau owner-operator Christine Wallace from Fiordland Outdoors Company, says getting locals out to experience what Fiordland has to offer, and bring all their friends, is a real win for businesses.

“Word of mouth can be very powerful and we’ve got a lot to see and do in Fiordland, still at a really affordable price.”

Christine’s business, which provides guided tours in Fiordland including water transport for the Milford and Kepler tracks, is one of 17 businesses taking part in the initiative including fellow tourism operators, restaurants, cafes, accommodation providers and even the local cinema.

“We want this community to get back on its feet and help itself. If we all work together it’s amazing what we can do, especially given what we’ve been through.

“We’ve got to keep coming up with these unique ideas because we’re in competition with every corner of New Zealand at the moment and we’re putting up our hand and saying ‘here, pick Fiordland for your next holiday’.”

Christine hopes the initiative will have a flow on effect following the school holidays, providing an opportunity to bring old friends and family together in Fiordland all year round.

As a town which relies heavily on tourism, Fiordland has taken a big hit, first with the floods in February this year followed by Covid-19.

Destination Fiordland General Manager Madeleine Peacock says she’s confident the initiative will give this resilient area another boost.

“It’s all about getting in behind our hometowns, we know why Te Anau Fiordland are special. There’s never been a better time for locals to get out and about in their own backyards and we’re asking them to encourage friends from all around New Zealand to get down here while they can have the place to themselves!

“The scenery, the activities, our great food and accommodation and superb locals welcome have never changed, but with borders still closed there’s never been a better time to explore.

“Bring Mum, Dad, the kids and grandparents, we promise they’ll have a superb time.”

Although locals are being invited to ‘host’ their friends and family, it doesn’t mean they have to stay with them. Visitors are being encouraged to stay with local accommodation providers while in the area.

Locals taking part need to provide proof of residence within the Te Anau Basin, Manapouri or Milford Sound regions and are also being asked to write a review, blog or social media post about the business, to help keep the momentum going.

Business providers include Sandfly Café, Fiordland Outdoors Co, Real Journeys, Cruise Milford, Fiordland Jet, Southern Lakes Helicopters, Habit Foods – Bao Now, Southern Discoveries, Fiordland Cinema, Trips and Tramps, Fiordland Helicopters, Redcliff Café, Faith in Fiordland, Go Orange, The Cinema Suites, Cruise Te Anau and Wings and Water- Fiordland Seaplane.

Terms and conditions will apply and may vary between operators. Free trips will be subject to availability and not in conjunction with other offers. Free offers will vary between providers and will depend on the number of visitors locals bring through the doors.

 

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