February 6, 2006

Helicopter flights between Manhattan, JFK to start

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's first commercial airport
helicopter service in over 20 years is scheduled to start
regular flights next month, its operator said on Monday, giving
deep pocketed New York travelers a way of skipping traffic as
well as security lines.

US Helicopter, a privately-owned start-up, said its
eight-passenger helicopters will fly starting March 13 from the
Downtown Manhattan Heliport at Wall Street to American
Airlines' domestic terminal at JFK.

No. 1 U.S. carrier American Airlines, a unit of AMR Corp.,
is partnering with US Helicopter in the venture.

US Helicopter's president and CEO Jerry Murphy formerly
served as an executive at now defunct airlines Kiwi
International Air Lines and Pan American World Airways, which
was involved in the last such service.

With an average flight time of eight minutes, the service
will have an introductory $139.00 each way, plus taxes and
fees, with a permanent rate of $159.00.

Along with the quick transit time, flyers will have the
advantage of security screening administered by the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration at the heliport in
Manhattan, rather than at one of American's JFK terminals.

In April, the service in US Helicopter's Sikorsky SL 76
helicopters will be expanded to a second heliport on East 34th
Street, with the city's other two airports, La Guardia and
Liberty International in Newark, New Jersey to be eventually
added as well, US Helicopter said.