16-Nov-2015 Source: HeliHub.com
Bond Offshore Helicopters has reduced its fleet at its Blackpool base, but continues to maintain operations supporting offshore rigs in the Irish Sea.
Initially launched with a fleet of four N3 Dauphins, the base at Blackpool serves gas rigs between the English coast and the Isle of Man – an area often known as Morecambe Bay but sometimes as the East Irish Sea. The support contract was first operated by Bond from 1978 using early 365C model Dauphins, and has also been operated by CHC. The 365N3s arrived from late 2009, with two being put into service at the start of 2010 and the second pair following a few months later. The four were registered G-REDE, G-REDF, G-REDG and G-REDH, reflecting the corporate colours of the time and the continued use of the “Redhead” callsign which continues to this day despite the preference for a dark blue corporate scheme for offshore operations.
The fleet was reduced from four to three in August 2013 with the sale of G-REDE to Heli Union in France. The second reduction came very recently, and G-REDF has been leased to an operator in Germany. The aircraft was ferried from Blackpool to another Bond base at Norwich on 5th November, and continued to Germany the next day via a refuelling stop in Liege. For the past two years this aircraft has been assigned a “backup” status and not flown much – G-REDG and G-REDH have been the workhorse aircraft.
John Fyall from Bond confirmed to HeliHub.com that G-REDF has been leased to an operator in Germany as part of their “routine fleet management plans”, which likely means a pressure on “asset utilisation”. Bond clearly continues operations from Blackpool with two N3 Dauphins, including the one pictured below
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com