Flash heli first in NZ

High-flyer: Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters boss Matt Wong

An aeronautical first has landed in Queenstown.

Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters has added an Airbus EC135 P2+ to its fleet.

The luxury chopper is the only one of its kind operating commercially in New Zealand.

Boss Matt Wong says the machine will be used for high-end clients rather than average punters.

“We knew the market was there … a lot of the work we do, with our Hollywood work and our aerial film work, it does attract a certain clientele and the demand is there.

“This is the next step up. It costs more to buy, more to operate and more in training, so the cost factor of having a machine like this is much higher.

“It is dedicated to luxury charters and those people that can afford the next level up in helicopter experiences.”

The twin-engine, seven-seater machine has been designed to be quieter than many other commercial helicopters in use.

It has Bose noise-cancelling headsets to cut out internal noise, allowing passengers and pilots to speak to each other clearly.

The chopper arrived in Queenstown on Monday morning, and is already being used for exclusive scenic private charter flights.

The tourist operator already boasts a fleet of eight, including Airbus AS350 B2 and B3e Squirrels.