When an Air Zermatt AG helicopter leaves one of its three heliports in Valais, it is sometimes a matter of life and death. The company has already saved the lives of many skiers and mountain climbers who have had accidents, and every year more are saved. Fortunately, lives are not at stake in all of the approximately 2000 helicopter rescues per year; in proportion to all the flights that Air Zermatt completes, the percentage of rescues where lives are at stake is actually relatively small. The majority — around 75 per cent — are purely commercial helicopter flights such as transport or tourist flights, and a further 5 per cent are used for education and training. These sectors are the financial backbone for the rescues, so to speak.
#HERTZ BUSINESS WITH AIR ZERMATT AG
More capital for the really important fleet
At Air Zermatt AG, the name alone reveals that cars tend to play a minor role in the daily work. They are indeed very much relied on, but the far more important fleet does not have wheels, but rotors. Because helicopters are in a completely different league in terms of cost, the traditional company from Valais does not want to unnecessarily tie up capital for a fleet on wheels and, above all, it wants to keep the fleet as flexible as possible. The magic phrase for this is car subscription.
Quite similar to a vehicle, the purchase price (which is in the seven-figure range for a helicopter) only represents a part of the actual costs. For operation and maintenance, one has to dig deep into one’s pocket again. With a helicopter, however, the situation is again quite different. For example, if a helicopter flies for one hour, on average about four mechanic hours are needed. A helicopter like this is, after all, a complex high-tech piece of equipment where everything must always be in perfect working order. And that costs a lot. Quite a lot, in fact. Because pilots, fuel, operations management and much more are needed to get a helicopter in the air, it soon becomes clear why such flights are expensive and why the aircraft need to be used as much as possible by the owner. In addition, the 75 or so permanent Air Zermatt employees should receive their salaries regularly — regardless of whether the rescue service is currently busy or not.