The Avincis group, known under its Bond, Inaer, Australian Helicopters and Norsk Helikopterservice brands, has taken delivery of the first of the 16 new Sikorsky S-92s it ordered in December 2011, the largest single purchase of the type. Norsk accepted the first medium twin and will operate it, along with the second one, for Bond customers in the UK North Sea sector. Milestone Aviation Group is financing the first four S-92s.
Avincis Group has taken delivery of the first of its record order of 16 new Sikorsky S-92s. The order, placed in December 2011, is the largest single purchase of S-92s ever made, according to the UK-based operator. The Avincis fleet is expected to provide offshore oil and gas worker transportation and serve in a search-and-rescue role.
Avincis is the new name for World Helicopters, a firm that combined the Bond Aviation Group with Inaer when it took over the former last spring. The group, owned by KKR and Investindustrial, operates 400 aircraft, 350 of them helicopters.
Sikorsky delivered two baseline S-92s to Bond Aviation Group, the first of 16 medium twins to be delivered under “the largest one-time acquisition of S-92s,” the manufacturer said. Sikorsky will now customize the helicopters for offshore oil operations. They will be operated by Norsk Helikopter Service in Norway. Sikorsky says the S-92’s backlog extends “well into 2016” and that the fleet will reach 500,000 hours early next year.
Offshore oil and gas helicopter service provider Bristow has secured new contracts for 20 large aircraft that it expects will generate more than $2 billion in revenue. The deals are a combination of new contracts and extensions of current ones in Australia, Brazil and Europe for Sikorsky S-92s and Eurocopter EC225s.
In two separate deals here yesterday, global aircraft finance company Milestone Aviation Group (Booth No. 7010) announced with OEMs Eurocopter (Booth No. 1917) and Sikorsky Aircraft (Booth No. 6148), respectively, orders for 16 Eurocopter EC225s and three Sikorsky S-92s. The EC225 order is valued at $480 million. Terms of the S-92 contract were not disclosed.
Offshore oil and gas operator CHC Helicopter has ordered 20 Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma medium twins and taken options on four more, with deliveries scheduled for 2012 to 2016.
Offshore operator Bristow’s Sikorsky S-92s have started flying in the North Sea with a second-generation traffic alert collision avoidance system (Tcas2). The first of seven medium twins to be equipped entered service in August, following EASA approval. The company had been studying S-92 Tcas2 since 2008, when it started operating the in-house-developed system on a Eurocopter Super Puma.
Thanks to a strategy of organic growth and acquisitions over the last decade, the Bristow Group’s Bristow Academy has grown into the world’s largest commercial helicopter training organization.
Eurocopter officially opened its new North Sea Service Centre today in Aberdeen, on the northeast coast of Scotland. The facility provides maintenance, repair and overhaul support for Eurocopter helicopters operating in the oil and gas fields of the North Sea. It also has a pilot training center, which features a full-flight simulator for the Eurocopter EC225.