Tickets for a new helicopter service between the Isles of Scilly and Land's End are due to go on sale in a few weeks, and 4500 people have already signed up.

The new service will begin in May and will be operated in partnership with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group, who already operate the ferry and plane services to and from the islands.

Andrew May, Chairman of the Steamship Group, said: "We’ve had a terrific response to Island Helicopters, with literally thousands of people signing up.

"With so much debate about the best location for a helicopter service it’s clear that people are voting with their feet and are happy to fly from Land’s End Airport, which is just 15 minutes from Penzance and already handles more than 60,000 passengers a year."

This announcement comes in the midst of debate over helicopter services to the island, as the owner of the Tresco island estate, Robert Dorrien-Smith, plans to start a service from Tresco to Penzance that is expected to be completed by 2019.

Penzance Helicopter ltd. has previously accused the Steamship Group of having a monopoly on the islands' travel services.

Dorrien-Smith said: "The safe operation of a heliport is not something that can be conjured up in a matter of months."

Steamship Group previously took legal action against Dorrien-Smith to stop him from establishing his own helicopter service from Tresco to Penzance.

Arguments for the Penzance service make the claim that the town would be a better place to have a heliport as it is at sea level and services are supposedly less likely to be affected by weather conditions.

Steamship Group's Island Helicopters will fly from Land’s End Airport from May this year using a brand new 10-seater Leonardo AW169 helicopter, which they claim is one of the most advanced helicopters in the world with all-weather, day and night capabilities.

Island Helicopters it will operate year-round up to six days a week from Land’s End Airport, with up to eight return flights a day starting from £215.

The group has chosen ten people at random from those who signed up to receive free return tickets to use in 2018.

Isles of Scilly Steamship Company Ltd was formed on March 26 1920 to provide lifeline passenger and freight services to the Isles of Scilly.

The company launched its fixed wing airline in 1984 and now flies eight aircraft year-round from Land’s End Airport, which the company owns, as well as Newquay and Exeter airports.