The two aviation companies will jointly operate the service from Woodgate Aviation’s private hangar and FBO at Belfast International Airport. Clients will be able to park at the facility, enjoy the luxury of the FBO executive lounge before boarding their helicopter for the 30mins helicopter ride to an assigned landing site at Royal Portrush Golf Club, the venue for The 148th Open golf championship.
Tens of thousands of golf enthusiasts will descend on the world famous links that is Royal Portrush. The helicopter service is designed to save time and beat traffic congestion and disruption on major approach routes, but also to offer a bespoke VIP hotel transfer experience for those arriving by private jet at the Woodgate Aviation Private Aviation Terminal.
For the eight days of this top sporting event, PDG will base their AS335 Twin Squirrel helicopter at Woodgate Aviation where the flight schedule and service will be managed.
Woodgate Aviation Accountable Manager, David Shaw, says the link-up with PDG was the logical thing to do for the world-famous golfing event. Mr Shaw adds: “By car, the sixty-mile journey from Belfast to Portrush could take anything up to two hours or more, but the helicopter shuttle will get you there in thirty minutes. It’s ideal for corporate clients or, indeed, the private enthusiast who wants to travel in some style and arrive refreshed to enjoy what we all hope will be a classic. Operations & Business Development Manager, Keith McKay added, “We have had a number of inquiries already with some positive leads which we believe will translate into firm bookings. We want The Open to showcase what is best about Northern Ireland and the professional manner in which companies like ours are going all out to make it a resounding international success.”
PDG, which is headquartered in Inverness with bases in Glasgow, Birmingham and Dublin, has a forty-year track record in UK aviation and is looking forward to providing a first-class service with Woodgate Aviation. Duncan McDonald, PDG’s Aviation Specialist, said: “We will have our Twin Squirrel helicopters at Woodgate Aviation to meet expected demand. This is a realistic solution for players, sponsors, the corporate or travel industry or private individuals who want an alternative to travelling by car.“ We will operate a bespoke helicopter transfer service for customers flying in by private jet who want to get to their hotel or directly to Royal Portrush. We will have two shuttles on the morning of each day and then two return trips in the afternoon.
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