Almost 4,500 people have registered their interest in using the new Island Helicopters service from Land’s End Airport to the Isles of Scilly, with tickets due to go on sale in just a few weeks.

Island Helicopters will fly from Land’s End Airport from May this year using a brand new 10-seater Leonardo AW169 helicopter – one of the most advanced helicopters in the world, with all-weather, day and night capabilities.

Island Helicopters will be operated by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) in partnership with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group.

Tickets go on sale in April but passengers can register their interest at www.islesofscilly-travel.co.uk/islesofscillyhelicopter/

Andrew May, Chairman of the Steamship Group, said: “We’ve had a terrific response to Island Helicopters, with literally thousands of people signing up.

“With so much debate about the best location for a helicopter service it’s clear that people are voting with their feet and are happy to fly from Land’s End Airport, which is just 15 minutes from Penzance and already handles more than 60,000 passengers a year.”

Island Helicopters it will operate year-round up to six days a week from Land’s End Airport, with up to eight return flights a day starting from £215

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has also notified 10 lucky winners of free return tickets to travel aboard Island Helicopters.They were picked at random from the first 1,000 people who registered their interest in travelling on the helicopter. All will receive a return flight on Island Helicopters during 2018.

The helicopter service will complement the Steamship Group’s existing Skybus fixed wing flights from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter Airports, and the seasonal Scillonian III ferry which has just resumed sailing after its winter break. Together they carried 214,000 passengers last year.

The company has recently completed a £260,000 investment in equipping all eight of its Skybus aircraft with a new GPS-based landing system to improve resilience and reliability.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group was founded by islanders almost 100 years ago to provide lifeline passenger and freight services to the Isles of Scilly. The £17-million turnover business employs 228 staff and returns more than £1.1 million a year to local communities through subsidised travel, freight, sponsorships and grants.