Bergen Air Transport (BAT) was established by Geir Hellsten and Hakon Lie-Nielsen in 1998 to provide air charter services out of Bergen Airport. In 2000, they set up a scheduled flight from Bergen to Notodden Airport to service business traffic in the North Kongsberg area, 100km west of Oslo. BAT is now a profitable operation running 6 days per week with 4,500 passengers each year. 70% of turnover comes from charter and air taxi services.
By keeping its operation small, the airline can deliver extremely flexible, high service standards, and the Shetland business community can take advantage of an improved infrastructure which is so vital to the health and growth of its economic fabric.
Bergen Air Transport has helped improve transport links between two growing economic hubs, stimulating local business and opening fresh opportunities for tourism. Rachel Hunter, HIE.
The company owns three aircraft – two King Air B200s and a Cessna Citation CJ2 Jet for corporate clients – and offers flexibility and high standards of service via its small, low-cost aircraft. There are 10 employees, including eight pilots, one of whom is the MD.
The recently opened Sumburgh-Bergen flight was suitable for the King Air B200; there was no competition, and an appreciable demand for the service. 2015 sees the route promoting tourist uptake
Shetland’s robust economy offers several opportunities for service provision for key industries and their respective supply chains. To date, oil and gas, aquaculture and logistics services companies have all used the service.
HIE has helped BAT with connections to local businesses who could benefit from the service. To support the new route during its first winter, HIE invested £70,470 to help establish it.
Peterson has a key role in the oil and gas industry in Shetland, including decommissioning. Currently, the Greenhead base is the only operational onshore decommissioning site in Scotland and has significant potential for further growth.
BSW Timber Limited, established in 1848, is family owned and the largest sawmilling company in the UK, operating seven mills including the new world-class facility at Kilmallie Mill, near Fort William.