Press Releases 2021
Hovertravel has teamed up with Go Delivery to offer a sustainable and more environmentally-friendly delivery service across the Solent which brings parcels to your door.
Pat Sowerbutts, Commercial Development Executive at Hovertravel, explains: “We are all aware of the boom in online shopping, which in turn has put a sharp focus on what the logistics industry calls ‘last-mile’ deliveries – the final part of the journey to your door. On the Isle of Wight we can feel slightly excluded when an online retailer specifies mainland deliveries only and for many years Hovertravel has offered a service to fly parcels from Southsea to Ryde.
Now we can complete the journey to your door, with our new partners Go Delivery, who will collect your package from our Ryde terminal and deliver it directly to you. Best of all, packages will be transported in an electric van, making this the fastest and the greenest delivery service across the Solent.”
Customers can arrange their delivery on the Hovertravel website by completing a simple form, making their payment online and then receiving an email confirmation. Perfect for people who cannot leave their home or office and very useful at this time of year for any last minute Christmas shopping.
Mark Stafford, Commercial Director, said “Go Delivery is looking to expand its operations and excited to partner up with Hovertravel‘s Fast Freight service to provide a low cost, same day parcel delivery, serving the Isle of Wight, with an easy online booking system for your business or home delivery needs”.
Kev Barton, Operation Director, added “Our dedicated team delivers every parcel with care. We’re all about reliable parcel delivery with a personal touch. You can trust us to deliver your parcels taking the same care that you would yourself. We’re equipped with the latest technology and you’ll discover that good quality can also be good value. We offer a wide range of value for money services delivering across the Isle of Wight, setting the standard for exceptional quality of service. We deliver to every Island postcode. “
Go Delivery is a web-based service and part of a suite of services serving the Isle of Wight which includes Go Taxi, Go Shop and Go Eats. To find out more please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/freight/hover-fast-freight-parcels/ and click on the ‘Deliver to my door’ tab.
Hovertravel has formally declared to ensure those who serve, or who have served in the armed forces, and their families are treated fairly, becoming the 1000th signatory in the South East to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains: “With Portsmouth Naval Base being one of our closest neighbours we operate in the same waters as the British Navy and work alongside the Queen’s Harbour Master who oversees our marine environment. Hovertravel has historically employed ex-service personnel and is proud to include team members with military backgrounds in its current workforce.
By signing the Armed Forces Covenant we are making a public pledge and highlighting that we are forces-friendly. We are also very keen to encourage other organisations to sign the covenant and we will be looking to increase the number of signatories on the Isle of Wight above the current total of just 11.”
Hovertravel recognises the value serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and military families bring to its business and in signing the document, has committed to uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. This includes supporting the employment of service leavers, reservists and veterans as well as providing flexible leave for service spouses and partners before, during, and after deployments.
Commodore JJ Bailey ADC, said: “It was my privilege as Commander of HM Naval Base Portsmouth to sign on behalf of all our Armed Forces this commitment by Hovertravel to recognising the contribution that serving and veteran military personnel and their families make to the country, this being the 1000th such commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant made in the South East.”
Hovertravel commits wholeheartedly to the principle that members of the Naval Service, the Army and the Royal Air Force, together with their families deserve respect and support, and fair treatment.
Hovertravel will also endeavour to ensure that those who serve in the Armed Forces, whether Regular or Reserve, those who have served in the past, and their families, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens in the provision of public and commercial services. Furthermore Hovertravel appreciates that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given most such as the injured and the bereaved and will look to encourage the use of our HoverCare facilities when and where appropriate.
The Fire Fighters Charity and Hovertravel have teamed up to organise the first-ever Solent Santa Dash on Sunday 12th December.
Participants will be invited to dress as Father Christmas or simply wear something suitably seasonal as they run or stroll along the seafronts of Southsea and Ryde. This event is suitable for all abilities and takes runners firstly along the Esplanade in Southsea, then on to the hovercraft for a ten minute flight to Ryde, where the second half of the dash is along the beaches of Ryde and Appley.
Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, adds: “As long-time supporters of the fire services community we wanted to be actively involved in creating a unique Solent-spanning Santa Dash and so we donated a hovercraft to fly the participants to the Isle of Wight for the second half of their run. The Fire Fighters Charity is reliant on donations from the fire and rescue community and the general public to meet the cost of operating its centre and community-based services to support thousands members of the UK’s fire and rescue services and their dependants, as well as the retired fire services community, each year.”
The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.
Fiona McMillan, Community, Corporate and Events Fundraiser at The Fire Fighters Charity, says: “We’re really excited to welcome supporters from across the area for this unique and fun-filled Santa Dash. It's not everyday you see a bunch of Santas riding a hovercraft! We couldn't be more grateful to Hovertravel for such a generous donation.
“All funds raised on the day will go such a long way in helping us to ensure we continue to be there for the entire of the UK’s fire services community, when they need us the most. On behalf of everyone at The Fire Fighters Charity, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who’s taking part. We can’t wait to see your outfits!”
The Solent Santa Dash takes place on Sunday 12th December with the race starting at 10.30am with full details and tickets available at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-solent-santa-dash-with-hovertravel-tickets-205198673757
ABOUT THE FIRE FIGHTERS CHARITY
The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community, empowering individuals to achieve mental, physical and social wellbeing throughout their lives.
The Fire Fighters Charity is reliant on donations from the fire and rescue community and general public to meet the £10m cost of operating its centre and community-based services to support over 55,000 members of the UK’s fire and rescue services and their dependants, as well as the retired fire services community.
Hovertravel is showing its support proudly for the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2021 by wearing poppies on the exterior of both its hovercraft.
Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explains: “We wanted to go beyond our usual fund-raising activities to make this 100th anniversary year extra special.
As a team, it is with great pride that we are displaying the poppy on our hovercraft, demonstrating our thanks to those in the armed forces and their families for the sacrifices that they make for us all.
Recently we were honoured to host a group of veterans who helped us reveal the new livery as the start to our support for the British Legion’s Poppy Appeal this year.”
Hovertravel is selling a range of poppies at its terminals in Southsea and Ryde. To donate to this year’s Poppy Appeal or for more information on the important work of the Royal British Legion, please visit www.britishlegion.org.uk.
For the week leading up to 31st October Halloween fans will be looking to celebrate All Hallows Eve with freaky frights and scary sights and Hovertravel offers the perfect route to both sides of the Solent.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel explains: “We are the fastest ferry route across the Solent and, as well as helping you make the most of your day, we can also help your family swiftly escape the horrors of Halloween. With a flight time of under ten minutes, you can out pace any ghoulish apparitions and be home safe and sound well before midnight.”
The Isle of Wight is rumoured to be the most haunted island in Britain and there are several Halloween-themed activities planned. From the witches at Carisbrooke Castle to the Frights & Sprites at Blackgang Chine and from the free wolf mask at the Newport Roman Villa to the immersive light shows at Robin Hill, there are plenty of autumn activities available.
Across the Solent, Portsmouth offers ghost hunting, haunted houses and a scary Halloween tour of an old fort. From the ghosts rumoured to haunt the Naval Base to the Froddington Witch often heard whistling in Fratton and from the spirit taking the applause at the New Theatre Royal to the drummer boy who is said to still run around Fort Widley, there is something to scare everyone.
For more details on Hovertravel’s speedy flights visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/
Hovertravel offers the fastest freight service across the Solent and, as well as working for the Royal Mail for almost 50 years, continues to transport a broad range of items which are required urgently on the Isle of Wight.
Loretta Lale, Head of commercial at Hovertravel, explains: “We are a crucial part of the supply chain which connects the mainland to the island, delivering goods such as auto parts and time-limited pharmaceuticals on a daily basis.
Research amongst our customers revealed that there is an increasing requirement for mid-sized packages to be transported. We have sub-divided our existing 0-10kg freight bracket by adding a new weight bracket of 0-5kg. We believe that this combined with our super-speedy service will help businesses and individuals during the busy build-up to Christmas.”
Customers can drop-off and collect from either of our terminals seven days a week, For more details please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk//freight/hover-fast-freight-parcels/
The UK Chamber of Shipping is delighted to announce that Hovertravel has joined the Chamber.
Hovertravel is the world’s only year-round passenger hovercraft service; flying between Portsmouth & Isle of Wight in under ten minutes. As an essential part of the Portsmouth community, carrying people, post and patients on a daily basis, Hovertravel help residents work, play and stay healthy.
Neil Chapman, Managing Director of Hovertravel, said: “Hovertravel is delighted to join the UK Chamber of Shipping and to add our voice, plus a unique hovercraft perspective, to this highly respected association.”
Welcoming Hovertravel, Head of Membership at the Chamber of Shipping Tony Jerome said:
“Hovertravel is a vital service for the people of the Isle of Wight and tourists, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome them to the UK Chamber of Shipping. At the Chamber we are always looking to grow our membership and our influence.
“We offer businesses and organisations a fantastic opportunity to work together to shape our great industry. We will continue to promote and protect our members’ interests, ensuring they are well positioned to take advantage of future opportunities.”
The Chamber has nearly 200 members and is the voice of the shipping sector in the UK, aiming to promote and defend the industry to politicians and the public.
Hovertravel has launched a charter for Pompey fans on the Isle of Wight with an extra-late, special service.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, says “Getting back into football stadiums is something many fans have been waiting for. As well as operating an extra late service outside the normal timetable at 22:15, Hovertravel has combined a hovercraft ticket with coach travel from the ground after the match, so that Island residents can return on the fastest ferry across the Solent.”
For Portsmouth Football Club match ticket or season pass holders, Hovertravel will operate a late 22:15 service from Southsea, after the home game and include an exclusive charter coach at 22:00 to transfer supporters from Fratton Park to Southsea.
To book please visit: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/PompeyHover/ . Portsmouth Football Club match tickets or season passes must be shown at time of boarding.
Hovertravel ‘s excursion from Ryde to Lee-on-Solent, with three pleasure trips, to celebrate Father’s Day, sold all the tickets.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, says: “This was our first excursion of 2021 and we saw very strong demand, for the trips between Ryde and Lee-On-Solent and our pleasure trips. The appeal of seeing the world’s only hovercraft museum and experiencing the world’s only year-round scheduled passenger hovercraft service attracted a wide variety of customers.”
The pleasure trips are a 20-minute demonstration of the capabilities of the hovercraft including manoeuvres such 360 degree spins, deflation and inflation of the hovercraft’s skirt and high speed change of direction, all accompanied by expert commentary from the pilot.
The Hovercraft Museum houses a collection of over 60 hovercraft including the iconic cross Channel hovercraft from the 1970s and craft used in James Bond films, The Scrap Heap Challenge TV programmes and many others used for military, racing, commercial and home builds. Alongside the craft there are plenty of models and archive materials which depict the history of this amphibious vehicle.
Hovertravel has further excursions on 12th & 19th September, 16th October, 13th November and 12th December with a discounted combination hovercraft travel and museum entry ticket. For more details please click here: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/excursions-and-charters/hovershows-open-days-hovercraft-museum/
Hovertravel has teamed up with Seaview Services to offer guided coach tours of the Isle of Wight, bringing together the convenience of the short hovercraft journey with an easy transfer to a waiting coach at Ryde.
Pat Sowerbutts, Commercial Development Executive at Hovertravel, explains: “We know from our contacts in the coach industry and our own research that many customers want to be able to experience the thrill and excitement of our hovercraft combined with an easy way to explore and discover the Isle of Wight.
We needed a partner who could provide the coach and guided tour element of such a trip and we are delighted to announce today that we are going to be working with Seaview Services.”
Seaview Services is approaching 103 years of organising and delivering coach-based tours and excursions on the Isle of Wight, having been started in 1918 by Richard Newall. Today the business can organise all aspects of your trip to the Island, including booking conference suites, restaurants and hotels.
Phil Robinson, Chairman from Seaview Services added: “We are family run company that is big enough to cope but small enough to care! Additionally we have extensive experience and considerable local knowledge of coach-based tourism on the Isle of Wight. We are looking forward to working with Hovertravel to showcase the fabulous sights that the Island has to offer.”
The first guided tour will be a circular coastal route, taking in the scenic delights of Sandown, Ventor, both Freshwater and Alum Bays and Yarmouth before returning to Ryde. For more details please contact Pat at email@example.com
Hovertravel has announced an enhanced boarding procedure for patients, developed in conjunction with the Wessex Cancer Trust. Patients with the Wessex Cancer Trust lanyard will be allowed to pre-board, ahead of other customers, if they wish.
Loretta Lale, Head of Commercial at Hovertravel, explains: “Having chosen the Wessex Cancer Trust as our charity of the year, we wanted to embrace our relationship and see if we could make practical improvements to our journey experience, which would assist patients.
At the same time we are fully aware of the huge backlog of patients with hospital appointments and that some people might be feeling apprehensive about travelling. Our discussions with the Trust identified that we could give these customers more time to board by offering pre-boarding ahead of other customers.”
The pre-boarding policy was trialled during the month of April, to gain feedback from patients, Hovertravel staff and other customers.
Mike Sizer Green, the manager of Manager of the Isle of Wight Cancer Wellbeing
Centre, adds: “I personally want to thank the Hovertravel team for helping to develop the boarding procedure for Islanders needing to cross the Solent for cancer treatment at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth. The Wessex Cancer Trust Daisy Bus provides around 10,000 individual journeys annually for Islanders affected by cancer. We can be contacted on 01983 524186 or at firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The pre-boarding procedure is voluntary. Hovertravel will make the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen we are about to start pre-boarding for any customers using the Daisy Bus” and at that point any patients who would like more time to board can come forward.
The Wessex Cancer Trust provides a free minibus service (the Daisy Bus) picking up patients from outside the Hovertravel terminal in Southsea and delivering them to the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth.
From Wednesday 5th May Hovertravel is adding extra flights to its weekday timetable. The additional flights are 1545 from Ryde and 1600 from Southsea, on Monday to Friday only.
Julie Horrocks, Head of Ground Operations at Hovertravel explains: “We always monitor our passenger numbers and flows in detail and, over the past year, this has been even more crucial as we responded to the pandemic and the needs of the local community.
Hovertravel has the advantage of being hyper-flexible and we can add flights in very quickly as demand dictates. We also review the data for trends and we can see that, with school children returning home and regular travellers starting to leave work, the hour around 1600 is becoming busier.
These new additions to our timetable will add capacity exactly when it is most needed and demonstrate that Hovertravel is doing all it can to support a sustainable recovery.”
Hovertravel’s booked service returned on 1st May so customers should book online to guarantee their seat and make sure they have scanned their ticket in the terminal five minutes before departure.
Hovertravel’s Island Rescue service has been recognised as 2020’s best Passenger Transport project by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. In its 28th year, the awards ceremony was conducted virtually last night, with a thank you to all the key workers in the transport industry delivered by HRH, The Princess Royal.
Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, said: “We are humbled to be recognised for our efforts to support the Isle Of Wight NHS and the local communities on either side of the Solent. Our Island Rescue service would not have been possible without the support of Griffon Hoverwork and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and we share this award together with all the engineers, pilots and crew of Hovertravel who continue to help save lives in this way.”
The award judges praised the engineering skill and the prompt regulatory approvals which brought this innovative service into operation in less than two weeks, remarking that “positive change is not always about huge passenger volumes and sometimes a small development can deliver a big difference.“
Neil adds: “The service was born out of COVID but alongside the improved outcomes for Isle of Wight patients, it delivers significant efficiencies for the Isle of Wight’s Ambulance service and is a permanent facility offered by Hovertravel.”
The Wessex Cancer Trust has been selected as the chosen charity of Hovertravel for 2021 with the hovercraft operator having planned a number of fundraising opportunities during the next 12 months.
Neil Chapman, managing director at Hovertravel, said: “We have worked with Wessex Cancer Trust for many years, both in practical terms as the fast connection for cancer patients crossing the Solent for treatment and as a facilitator for fund-raising activity to help save the Daisy Bus.
More recently during the pandemic we collaborated to create a COVID-secure charter to give confidence to patients who have needed to keep travelling through all three lockdowns.
If the events of the last 12 months have highlighted anything, it is the need to support those charities that are making such a difference to the lives of people with complex health conditions. We are looking forward to seeing just how much we can raise for the Wessex Cancer Trust and we know the local communities on both sides of the Solent will add their support too.”
Every year around 23,000 people are diagnosed with cancer within the Wessex region. Formed in 1981, Wessex Cancer Trust helps and supports anyone affected by cancer regardless of age, gender or type of cancer. Their dedicated team are committed to offering free support for as long as people need it, away from a hospital environment. The trust also runs two free minibus service links for clients visiting Southampton General Hospital and Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth.
Laura Joyce, Regional Fundraiser at the Wessex Cancer Trust added:
"We're so grateful to Hovertravel for choosing to support us as their charity of the year. Our long relationship with Hovertravel through the Daisy Bus transport initiative and our joint collaboration on a Travel Charter for cancer patients means we have an especially close working partnership. 2020 forced us to cancel the majority of our fundraising events but, with the help of businesses like Hovertravel, we have been able to continue to support people affected by cancer during this difficult time. 2021 is our 40th birthday and we have some really exciting events in the pipeline so keep an eye on our website and social media for details!"
Hovertravel is adding two extra services to its weekday services, to ensure that key workers and essential supplies continue to flow across the Solent. From Monday 25th January, the weekday timetable will include a 1645 from Ryde and a 1700 from Southsea.
Loretta Lale, head of commercial at Hovertravel added: “We are in constant communication with the NHS Trusts on both sides of the Solent, to make sure we are answering their requirements for flying medical professionals to and from the Island. Similarly we are listening to those key workers who are traveling with us to identify the times of the day when extra services are needed. With our short journey time of less than 10 minutes and flexible operation we can add in services on an ad hoc basis but we also want to give confidence to those who need to travel and have made these extra services a permanent addition to our timetable.”
Hovertravel’s timetables can be viewed on their website: https://www.hovertravel.co.uk/timetables/