Helicopter service Amsterdam-Brussels to start

Public transport company Connexxion has announced plans to start a helicopter service between Amsterdam and Brussels, according to today’s Financieele Dagblad newspaper.
The helicopter service is due to take off in mid-2007 and will also pick up and drop passengers at The Hague and Rotterdam.

The new initiative is a joint venture between the 125-year old Hilversum firm Connexxion and the Amsterdam helicopter company Helinet which was set up three years ago. Tickets will go on sale this autumn and will cost €450 (exclusive vat tax and based on a kilometer price of €2.25). Connexxion and Helinet believe they will break even with an occupancy rate of 50%.
The companies hope to fly at least four times a day between Amsterdam and Brussels and expect to have between 3,000 and 4,000 passengers annually within three years.
The new service will save passengers time by avoiding traffic jams but does have some disadvantages – the helicopters will be grounded in bad weather and cannot fly in the dark.
Although Scandinavia, France, Canada and Hong Kong have similar services, this is the first time helicopters will be used as public transport in Holland.

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