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Sydney’s tourism and transport seaplane services are set to be bolstered as hotel and tourism entrepreneur Dr Jerry Schwartz announces an investment in Sydney Aviation Holdings (SAH) that will see an increase in seaplane services out of Rose Bay.

Sydney Aviation Holdings currently owns Sydney Seaplanes and the recently completed Rose Bay Seaplane Base, the Empire Lounge. The current two partners of SAH, Aaron Shaw and Ken Gaunt, agreed today to take on Dr Schwartz as a third partner to provide a boost to seaplane services.

Dr Schwartz’s owns two amphibious aircraft, currently located at Cessnock Airport in the Hunter Valley, and he has been working for the past two years to expand charter flights for small groups between Sydney, Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

With the addition of Dr Schwartz’s two aircraft Sydney Seaplanes’ fleet will increase to six aircraft, comprising three Amphibious Cessna Caravans, 2 DHC-2 Beavers and 1 Cessna 206, creating Australia’s largest seaplane fleet and enabling expanded services from the Rose Bay seaplane terminal.

The Cessna Caravans will be the backbone of the fleet and are capable of carrying 12 passengers in air conditioned comfort. Their turbo prop engines make them the quietest aircraft available for commercial seaplane services, allowing more capacity from the seaplane base in Rose Bay, on larger and quieter aircraft.

Announcing the agreement, Dr Schwartz said the partnership offered substantial benefits for all three partners.

“Seaplanes have been such a fundamental part of Sydney’s transport heritage, and given how many idyllic locations along the east coast are located on waterfront, there is a natural advantage of growing the network,” said Dr Schwartz, who owns eleven hotels in Sydney and the Hunter Valley

“There is considerable demand for point to point air services between Sydney and the Hunter, and with six airplanes available, it will mean we can fly larger groups with greater flexibility.

“Sydney Aviation Holdings brings substantial expertise to the partnership and their terminal at Rose Bay is one of the most prestigious pieces of commercial real estate on Sydney Harbour.  In addition, Sydney Seaplanes will gain the opportunity of having a second hub at Cessnock Airport, to service the rapidly growing Hunter region.

“I like the idea of cross-promotion, and given the importance of promoting premium travel experiences, I think the partnership will offer a great opportunity to tap into tourists staying in my Sydney hotels to book scenic flights of Sydney Harbour or fly to one of the many waterfront restaurants.

“For the Hunter Valley, there is so much demand for high-end groups to go and play golf, visit wineries or take part in one of the many musical or gourmet events held in the Hunter.”

Aaron Shaw of SAH said Dr Schwartz’s investment and tourism experience would provide a boost to the company.

“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Schwartz as part of Sydney Aviation Holdings,” said Mr Shaw.

“He truly shares our passion for the tourism industry, a sector which is already experiencing huge growth, particularly from emerging markets, as well as from our strong domestic sales base.

“Our seaplane services provide the best possible way of accessing the Hunter Valley, and indeed many locations throughout New South Wales, and this investment, with the addition of two more aircraft to our fleet, will enable us to jointly capitilise on these wonderful opportunities for many years to come”.