Island Helicopters (Land's End) will launch a new scheduled helicopter service connecting St. Mary's, in the Isles of Scilly, to Land's End, on the UK mainland, in May 2018, the company has announced.

The service will be operated up to 8x daily, six days a week by Special Aviation Services (Gloucestershire) using Leonardo Helicopters AW169 10-seat helicopters.

Island Helicopters belongs to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, a company which holds a monopoly on the scheduled boat transport between the archipelago located off the south-western coast of England and Cornwall on the mainland. This situation led to a controversy with Robert Dorrien-Smith, whose family estate leases Tresco island in the archipelago from the Duchy of Cornwall.

According to Dorrien-Smith, unfavourable weather conditions at Land's End mean that the new helicopter service will not be a reliable link, but will lead to a further strengthening of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group's position vis-a-vis competitors. For his part, Dorrien-Smith was expected to launch own service connecting Tresco with Penzance on the mainland in Spring 2018, BBC has reported.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group has extended an offer to run the helicopter service also to Tresco, according to a spokesperson quoted by The Guardian, although Tresco Estate has denied having received such an offer.

According to the ch-aviation capacity module, the only scheduled operator present at St. Mary's is Skybus (UK) (IOS, Land's End), which also belongs to the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group. The airline connects the island to Land's End and Newquay using DHC-6 and Islander equipment. Tresco heliport currently receives no scheduled traffic.