Hovercraft presented their new ‘Solent Flyer’ to the press today after successful trials last week.
It’s one of two new crafts that Hovertravel has invested in to replace its existing fleet this summer.
The trials were overseen by Hovertravel’s regulator and governing body, the Marine and Coastguard Agency.
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Neil Chapman, managing director of Hovertravel, explained, “Hovertravel’s current craft will soon be due to be replaced or need extensive refurbishment and we wanted to plan for the future. Ordering two new craft allows us to benefit from the obvious advances in technology since our existing craft were built. Our research indicated that two, more efficient, hovercraft would be the best replacement option and would allow us to continue to serve our customers in the most effective way.”
Thanks to the latest developments in engine technology and overall design, passengers can expect faster and easier boarding, a quieter ride due to the large slow-turning propellers and larger windows giving better visibility.
Hovertravel also employed leading human behaviour and design specialists, CCD Design and Ergonomics, to review where people choose to sit on the craft, as well as how the customers behave during the process of getting on and off the craft.
“Our business is focussed on improving the customer experience, “adds Neil Chapman, “and we carefully considered how we could improve our service delivery with our new craft, using CCD’s valuable input. For example, it was this analysis which demonstrated the need for both a ramp and steps, along with handrails.”
“The new craft project has extended beyond the craft with the introduction of a new uniform and refresh of the interiors of both our terminals, all adding to the transformation of the business into a contemporary, customer-centric company serving both the local communities and attracting visitors from around the world.”