By Kevin Delaney
Skye’s not the limit for ambitious seaplanes boss David West.
In fact, he is certain that the world famous island with its 360 degrees of breath-taking views is THE place to make his aerial business soar to even greater heights.
For David, who set up his successful Loch Lomand Seaplanes business in 2003, has now set his sights on opening up the fantastic vistas and views of the rugged misty isle with its high mountain ridges and stunning sea lochs to those who want to get a real bird’s eye view of all there is to see.
David, who has over 35 years experience in the cockpit, is offering flights of between 40 and 70 minutes which not only cover Skye but can go as far as the Outer Hebrides, Lochaber and the Wester Ross coastline, the Applecross Peninsula and heading towards Loch Torridon. So, with up to 120 miles of incredible scenery to take in, not to mention a water based take-off and landing, it’s guaranteed to be an experience of a life time!
The nine seater Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian used by Skye Seaplanes is a short haul regional airliner and since the first flight of the type in 1984, some 12.5 million hours have been flown in the 2,000-plus aircraft which have been manufactured. And, with a well thought out pricing structure the company have made sure that the aerial forays are not just for high fliers.
David said: “We have tried to open up the experience to as wider cross section as possible. It’s popular with older clients because it’s a chance to perhaps re-live their earlier mountain climbing days, whereas for those who have never visited the island before it’s a chance to leave with memories and sights which will stay with them forever.
“Moment by moment the Scottish landscape changes as it unfolds below the seaplane - a majestic mountain peak, a stunning glen, a mysterious loch, an ancient castle, hillside colours beyond belief, even the light bursting through clouds can change the whole scene. See Skye from the air and nothing anywhere else will probably ever match it.”
For 2015 Skye Seaplanes are also keen to involve more locals in the high flying business.
David continued: “We especially want to recruit those who work in hospitality and tourism locally, including hotels, B&B’s and guest houses, to act as agents on our behalf. There will be a commission payment for those booking guests via our on-line reservations system.
‘Most important of all though, visitors to Skye will get the very most out of their time on Skye. They will hopefully then return home, tell friends and family all about it and encourage even more people to visit the island themselves in the future.
“Skye has so much to offer, be it in the air or on the ground. The more people who enjoy it to the full the more that are likely to come and find out for themselves what a bewitching place is. That’s got to be good for everyone.”