By Rhonda Massad
SMY, Sports & Entertainment and The Wilbur Group will be providing VIP Helicopter service, corporate jet charter and executive ground transportation for The Grand Prix activities in Montreal June 3 – 8.
Former Montrealer, Eric Senecal of SMY group and Gary Wilbur of Miami Wilbur group saw a void in Montreal executive services and partnered up to fill it.
Wilbur, a commercial pilot for 17 years has flown such celebrities as Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods and Nascar drivers. He has also flown in an electronic news gathering capacity collecting aerial views for news organizations. Wilbur has also contributed to the saving of countless lives as a donor flight pilot.
“The organ donor is kept alive on a respirator during the flight,” Wilbur explained in a phone interview from Miami, “a donor flight can save an average of 16 people and are generally done at night.”
While working in a corporate capacity Wilbur would often encounter a lack when it came to high end executives and celebrities once they arrived at their destination.
“Often times we would land and find no car scheduled to pick up the traveler,” he explained of his executive clients, “that is when I decided to fill a niche market and provide service from door to door.”
According to Wilbur, an hour of car travel is equivalent to eight minutes of helicopter travel time. The helicopters will be available to take guest from Trudeau International Airport to the downtown core without all the traffic constraints for $750 per person one way during the Grand Prix festivities. Flights need to be booked a few days before.
Senecal, former Montrealer living in Florida, has been watching the Mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre closely as the mayor considers increasing helicopter access to Montreal.
According to Senecal because Montreal does not have several helicopter landing pads the city misses out on a viable business from billionaires who could otherwise be enjoying all that the city has to offer.
“Montreal is magical and beautiful,” Senecal boasted, “The jazz festival, the comedy festival, arts, fine foods are all available and high end clients go elsewhere because Montreal lacks landing capabilities. We need to offer better services so these people come and spend in our city.”
Montreal has 11 helicopter landing sites only one of which is located at the Sacré Coeur hospital. The new super hospital does not include a helicopter pad. The rest of the helicopter pads are located on the buildings of large corporations.