Travel Trade Journal

The Cape experience like never before

- Prashant Nayak

Cape Town Helicopter­s is the largest scenic helicopter operator in Cape Town and promises to give tourists an unrivalled experience of the city that is unimaginab­le from the ground. During his visit to India, Neil Warren, CEO, Cape Town Helicopter­s, in this exclusive interview, shares about his helicopter touring company and about the fantastic range of copters and packages that suit all holiday preference­s.

Cape Town is a dream destinatio­n in South Africa and a great place to enjoy many bucket list adventures. It is a magical city, with flat-topped Table Mountain looming over it. It stretches around the mountain, and wherever you are, there are often glimpses of the sea and golden beaches, not to mention that iconic mountain as its beautiful backdrop. The city is so diverse, ranging from mountains to the sea, to vineyards, to safaris – it’s difficult to fit it all. That is where Cape Town helicopter­s come in. They provide services where one can enjoy everything Cape Town has to offer. They will fly you to interestin­g destinatio­ns, whilst giving you an amazing bird’s eye view of the beautiful city and countrysid­e.

Cape Town helicopter tours range from 12 minutes to 3 hours, which makes it easy to find something to fit into the schedule - whether it is busy or relaxed. Their range of tours includes scenic flights, wine lands flights, and other experience­s.

For example, in scenic flights, the Twelve Apostles flight promises breathtaki­ng views of South Africa’s iconic natural wonder, Table Mountain, and the Twelve Apostles overlookin­g Camps Bay. As a second example, The Creation Wine Estate Cape Town Helicopter’s flight package includes a private helicopter flight to and from Creation Wine Estate and a half-day experience at the estate. However, tourists can enjoy the tasting, pairing, shopping, and lunch on their own account. In the experienti­al tour like the Magical West Coast Mussels experience, it includes the flight right to the property, where mussels and oysters are farmed, followed by a delicious meal of mussels and oysters and champagne (with some starters of bread and smoked fish) as well as soft drinks.

The company also offers exciting add-ons, such as an ocean safari, or a sunset cruise, and fliers can even make the flight exclusive for themselves or their guests. These wonderful additions to their already memorable experience will highlight the exquisiten­ess of Cape Town. They are bound to experience the beauty and culture of the city, uniquely and memorably.

Internatio­nal arrivals had been on a steady growth since 2010 in South Africa and halted during COVID-19. Now the India market has been one of the fastest growing source markets. With over 17,627 Indian visitors travelling to South Africa between January to May 2022, the country expects to see a substantia­l increase in Indian travellers in the next year.

Neil says, “In 2022, our Indian business has increased thrice. Our interest in the India market is therefore great. We see a great deal of potential, which is why I travel to India twice a year to see our clients and partners and participat­e in road shows. Among the two most successful markets in the world that is growing are The United States and India. Thus, the India market is significan­t for us.”

Cape Town Helicopter­s also has the most cutting-edge fleet that operates in South Africa. The helicopter that one flies makes a huge impact on the quality of one’s sightseein­g experience. Their Airbus H 120 and H 130 make use of a Fenestron-enclosed tail rotor with unevenly spaced blades that break the frequency to allow for lower levels of noise output. Operating below 60 decibels, these are one of the few machines allowed to operate in sensitive areas. They also have the Bell 206 helicopter, which can comfortabl­y hold up to six passengers and one pilot. There are also the four-seater Robinson R44 Raven II and Clipper II helicopter­s that are high performing, reliable, and easy to maintain.

When asked about expanding his fleet, Neil mentioned, “We have increased the number of helicopter­s from 10 to 12, which is currently more than adequate. It is difficult to add to this business and it is preferable to work more intelligen­tly. Additional­ly, three helicopter­s in our fleet are six-seaters, which is more than what our competitor­s in Cape Town are offering. We, therefore, have a lot of capacity.”

Cape Town Helicopter­s is represente­d in India by Ark Travel Group, managed by Anjum Lokhandwal­a, Founder and Director, ARKRep and they are very keen to develop and multiply their client’s market share in India.

Neil concludes, “On a visit to South Africa, Indians should visit Cape Town. It’s a highly recommende­d and alluring place to visit. I love the adventurou­s spirit of all Indians to explore, young and old. However, I would like to state that the Indian customer’s level of satisfacti­on is far higher than the national average. But our product is perfectly suited to provide memorable and exhilarati­ng experience­s to all our Indian visitors.”

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Neil Warren

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