Penzance Flights to Isles of Scilly End

Legal action between two supermarket giants is being blamed for the loss of a helicopter service from Cornwall to the Isles of Scilly.

British International Helicopters is to end it's service on November 1st from Penzance, after running for almost 50 years. 

BIH had planned to sell its land to Sainsbury's and relocate to Newquay later this year - but Tesco has called for a judicial review asking for Cornwall Council's decision-making process to be reviewed, after they granted planning permission 

A redundancy consultation process has now begun with around 60 staff who will lose their jobs 

Managing Director of BIH Tony Jones tells Heart potential delays caused by Tesco was the final straw but that the company will honour all customer flights booked up until 31 October 2012. Anyone with a flight booked after 1 November will be given a full refund. 

The service provides 12 flights a day and is thought to be used by up to 90 thousand people a year.

Meanwhile in a statement to us from Cornwall Council, they say 

 

''We do not accept the claim by Tesco that there was insufficient evidence to support the consideration of the loss of the heliport as a factor in deciding the application and that the Council acted unlawfully in not securing an alternative site in the locality. 

We are disappointed that Tesco has delayed so long and put this claim in as late as possible. We will be fully defending this claim but appreciate that this process could take several months to conclude.

We are keen to continue to talk to BIH about the future of the helicopter service and to see what support can be provided.''


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