Manston’s Heli Charter Ltd goes into voluntary liquidation

Heli Charter Ltd at Manston

Manston-based Heli Charter Limited will close with directors making the decision to go into voluntary liquidation.

The company was founded by businessman and aviation enthusiast Ken Wills.

The successful businessman passed away in 2017 after a long fight with cancer. Ken was a self-made, Thanet businessman employing hundreds of people. He launched and built some of the South East’s leading company’s ranging from aviation and property through to radio stations and charities.

Ken Wills Photo Mike Nichols

He was also never far from the controls of a helicopter and was a well known pilot.

Heli Charter began with a handful of staff and just one Bell 206 Jet Ranger. In 2014 the company became a retailer for Bell helicopters and moved to the 60,000 square feet property in Merlin Way, Manston.

There are thought to be around 15 staff affected by the liquidation.

However Mr Wills’ Summit Aviation business, which was established in 1990, continues to trade.

That business is run by James Boulton and his team and provides services of maintaining, repairing and overhauling Pratt & Whitney engines.

A spokesman for Heli Charter Ltd said: “Following the sad passing of Ken Wills back in October 2017, Heli Charter in Manston had continued to trade in the service and supply of Bell Helicopters.

“During the last quarter of 2018 it became apparent that the investment needed to sustain and grow the business was not economically viable.

“A voluntary liquidation of Heli Charter Limited has now been sought. The decision was not reached lightly by directors.  The directors interest remains firmly in providing a long term aviation business at Manston, with their focus on Summit Aviation.”

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