CHC puts future EC225 operations in customer hands

CHC puts future EC225 operations in customer hands 9 Jun, 16, Source: HeliHub.com

As everyone across the industry, and certainly the offshore helicopter industry, knows, CHC suffered a fatal accident with an Airbus EC225 off Bergen in Norway on 29th April.  As a result both the UK and Norwegian authorities grounded the EC225/H225 and AS332L2, and subsequently NHV/Dancopter voluntarily followed suit with their three Danish-based EC225s.  EASA later grounded the types for all countries in their jurisdiction, but that only added an applicability to 9 active aircraft and 7 stored aircraft:-

  • France – 2 electric power support, 3 offshore (1 Africa, 2 Asia)
  • Germany – 1 law enforcement
  • Netherlands – 2 offshore (both Africa)
  • Spain – 1 law enforcement
  • 5 manufacturer owned EC225s stored between leases or pending sale (three owned by Airbus, two by Leonardo)
  • 2 leasing company owned brand-new EC225s not contracted to operators.

CHC have now issued the following statement “The offshore industry continues to face challenging conditions and we, like many other businesses, are having to respond to the current environment.  All H225s operations in our EMEA region are suspended pending the ongoing investigation in Norway.  Over the past few weeks, in Aberdeen, we have listened to our customers’ needs for the immediate term and also looking forward to the future.   We must now respond to our customers’ operational requirements and wishes.  In the future, when the H225 fleet returns to service and customers wish to fly the aircraft, we will appropriately adjust the mix of aircraft in our fleet.  Providing safe and reliable service to our customers remains CHC’s top priority.

Some mainstream media organisations such as the BBC have taken this as CHC ceasing EC225 operations altogether, but we believe that is reading too much into it.  What CHC are doing is to put the onus on the customers in the offshore oil and gas industry.

There is, of course, a longer-term requirement for CHC to stay on good terms with Airbus Helicopters in the expectation they will need that after they emerge from Chapter 11 protection.

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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