Aviation tourism company Inflite is expanding, buying Skydive Fox Glacier.

Privately owned Inflite also has Skydive Abel Tasman, Skydive Mt Cook and Skydive Franz Josef and says the new acquisition complements the existing operations.

The fast-growing firm also has helicopter operations throughout the country and a corporate charter business.

The new company will operate as Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier, retaining drop zones in both locations.


A company spokesman, Dan Burt, said although tourist numbers had dropped off on the West Coast, sky-diving operations in the area had held up.

Inflite bought Skydive Franz Josef last year and the business has performed strongly since then, leading to Inflite expanding skydive operations – initially with the purchase of Skydive Abel Tasman, then Skydive Mt Cook and now Skydive Fox Glacier which has a Fletcher FU aircraft and eight staff.

Skydive Mt Cook will next month open a new purpose-built facility at Pukaki Airport.
Inflite, owned by Auckland-based Jason Cray, has operated Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters since 2015.

Burt said the company was moving towards being a ''customer experience-based'' business rather than purely an aviation business.

Inflite has a fleet of more than 15 aircraft, ranging from skydiving fixed-wing planes to Eurocopters and corporate planes including a 550 Falcon jet.

The company was formed through the amalgamation of three charter companies: Helilink, Skylink and Air National.

It is gearing up for a busy period around the America's Cup, to be sailed in 2021.

Chief executive Adam Joyce said there had been inquiries from a range of sources connected to the syndicates, agents operating on behalf of wealthy individuals and other travellers heading to New Zealand from North America.


''A key limitation for the upcoming Cup will be helicopter access to the Viaduct area which the majority of Auckland operators are concerned about.