A new Isles of Scilly helicopter service set up in competition to a rival Penzance bid will not be flying into one of the main islands, it was revealed yesterday.

When the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company announced last week that it would be running a new helicopter transfer from Land’s End, starting in May this year, it spoke of its intention to fly into both St Mary’s and Tresco - subject to agreement with both.

This would be in competition to any helicopters flying from a proposed replacement heliport for Penzance, which was granted planning permission from Cornwall Council but is currently subject to a legal challenge from the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company.

However, Robert Dorrien-Smith, whose family has run Tresco since 1834, issued a statement yesterday to confirm helicopters would not be flying to his island – during this year at least.

Mr Dorrien-Smith said: “Unfortunately, key stakeholders – including Tresco Heliport – were not consulted prior to last week’s announcement.

“Due to the delays to the Penzance Heliport project, caused by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s legal challenges, Tresco Heliport is not scheduled to become fully operational until early 2019, to coincide with the scheduled Penzance service.

“The safe operation of a heliport is not something that can be conjured up in a matter of months.”

He did, however, say that any flights from a new Penzance Heliport would be able to operate into both Tresco and St Mary’s, after agreements were reached with all parties.

“We currently anticipate that flights from Penzance Heliport will be operational from spring 2019, dependent on Cornwall Council’s planning decision, expected in the coming weeks.

“I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of our supporters, and particularly the communities on the Isles of Scilly and Penzance, for their continued support for Penzance Heliport, which has only grown in recent days.

“It has been so heartening to see a shared conviction that Penzance is the obvious choice, for its weather resilience, accessibility and the introduction of genuine competition to the Isles of Scilly transport market,” he added.

The new Isles of Scilly Steamship Company’s service will be year-round, operating eight flights a day, six days a week by Gloucester-based Specialist Aviation Services in a new ten-seater helicopter.

The company said: “Island Helicopters complements the existing air and sea links to the Isles of Scilly, bringing more choice, flexibility and capacity to the transport network – something everyone wants to see.

“The Steamship Company was founded almost 100 years ago to foster the prosperity and wellbeing of the communities we serve. Island Helicopters is the latest chapter in that mission.”