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Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Where "Good Enough" is Never Enough

by Robert Foley
February 2006

At Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, "Nothing but the very best" is not some casual slogan, and there is no "Good enough." Period. Ever since Blue Hawaiian opened 20 years ago, in 1985, the company has considered providing only the very best its pledge and its promise. "Here, tradition, community, and total dedication to excellence are a way of life," company CEO Dave Chevalier said.

 "We know that choosing a helicopter tour company is not like choosing any other activity on a vacation. We dedicated ourselves to making Blue Hawaiian the unchallenged benchmark for quality and rock-steady professionalism in the air-tour industry."

 Blue Hawaiian has taken the words "helicopter tour company" to a whole new level, in the process raising the bar very high.

 As you will read, this is a company that knows where it is and how it got here...and where it's going and how it's going to get there. Adding to its already powerful reputation is its enhancing of its avionics department. According to avionics manager Bob Pistorino, "Everybody associated with this effort, specifically, and with the whole company, generally, is excited about what's happening. Everybody would be because here everybody cares. That's what's made this company what it is."

What makes this company different? It is the unflagging attitude that is wall-to-wall. Co-owner Patti Chevalier said, "We want our customers to know and love our home the way w do." This goes back to its very beginnings.

Dave and Patti Chevalier came to Maui from Green Bay, Wisconsin , in 1984. Dave, a former scout pilot, flew tours for South Seas Helicopters, while Patti taught high school social studies. When South Seas Helicopters was put up for sale, the Chevaliers risked everything they had to buy the company.

Fueled by the Chevaliers' resolute dedication to safety and excellence—the former does rather beget the latter —Blue Hawaiian has grown to be Hawaii's premiere helicopter tour company and one of the most prominent in the world, flying more than 140,000 guests annually from their three heliports on Maui and the Big Island. Blue Hawaiian also has a base on Kauai.

Dave is Blue Hawaiian's CEO, and Patti is the president. Patti's brother, Dave Griffin, who also has an ownership stake in the company, is chief operating officer, in charge of Blue Hawaiian's hugely successful Big Island Operations. Their pride and dedication is felt by everyone and shared by everyone at Blue Hawaiian.

What has evolved at Blue Hawaiian is an utterly customer-focused corporate culture. Every decision made at Blue Hawaiian is designed to improve the customers' experience, so that for every guest on every flight on Blue Hawaiian remembers it as one of the great experiences of his or her lifetime. Call it a "goal" if you like. At Blue Hawaiian, you can call it "company policy."

As one would expect of the people of Blue Hawaiian, the company is deeply involved with charities that benefit the local communities on both Maui and the Big Island. The Chevaliers' leadership in the creation of Maui 's Disaster Medical Assistance Team reflects their dedication. In addition to DMAT, Blue Hawaiian assists Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster, the Pacific Disaster Center , the Maui County Fire Department, the Department of Education, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Aircraft Services, and a number of endangered species programs. Blue Hawaiian gets involved.

Of those achievements, none is more important than Blue Hawaiian's unparalleled record of excellence in aircraft maintenance.

One of the owners dreams from day one was to be instrumental in bring about the next generation of touring helicopters - machines that would be significantly quieter and more efficient than anything else in air touring. Determined to meet that goal required using only the acknowledged best in aircraft and equipment, for safety and comfort, which is why Blue Hawaiian is now flying the incredible, all-new EC130-B4 Eco-Star helicopter.

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters' integral involvement in the development and introduction of the spectacular new Eco-Star is one of the long line of cutting-edge achievements unmatched in the Hawaii helicopter tour industry. This incredible new helicopter incorporates all the latest technologies, materials, systems and avionics. It offers incomparable passenger comfort and fantastic sweeping views. Blue Hawaiian was the launch customer for the Eco-Star, and Blue Hawaiian now has the largest fleet of ECO-Stars in the air-tour industry. Currently, 10 EC-130's ECO-Stars bear the Blue Hawaiian name and colors.

In addition to its fleet of 10 21st-Century Eco-Stars, Blue Hawaiian features a fleet of float-equipped, fully air-conditioned American Eurocopter A-Star 350 helicopters. This industry-standard machine is an incredible helicopter for aerial touring in Hawaii.

Maintaining its fleet of Eco-Stars and A-Stars to peak performance and safety standards is at the heart of Blue Hawaiian's success. World renowned aviation manufacturer American Eurocopter has certified Blue Hawaiian Helicopters as an authorized service center for the Eco-Star's and A-Star's high-tech airframes.

Now take all of the preceding and consider that Blue Hawaiian Helicopters is putting its avionics department on par with every other first-class aspect of the company. How better to serve Blue Hawaiian's guests? How better to compliment the company's overall mission? That's going to be some kind of avionics department when they're all done...and it's already excellent.