Shortly after announcing a £100 Million write-down of their oil and gas helicopter operation (likely referring to the loss of value in their fleet of thirteen AS332L2/EC225, but not specifically stated), British-based engineering company Babcock has now closed its helicopter operation on Germany. Trading under the name of Babcock MCS Germany, the company operated primarily from Augsburg Airport, was previously known as Heli Aviation until Babcock bought it in April 2016.
Local news outlet Augsburger Allgemeine reports that Babcock lost their Red Cross EC155 contract in Sudan this summer, and that led to approximately 20 redundancies. In a recent article, they suggested that the operator would close in March 2019, but HeliHub.com investigation finds the doors are locked and the phone is on voicemail. Existing students received an email on 16th November seen by HeliHub.com and signed by Managing Director Mathias Steinberg and Finance Director Javier Cabanas which said that operations would finish by 30th November 2018 and that “activities will cease with immediate effect for security reasons”. The same press report suggests a further 30 redundancies would result.
A spokesperson from Babcock MCS has confirmed to HeliHub.com “Operations at Babcock MCS Germany will cease by end of the Fiscal Year (End of March 2019). In the meantime we continue to support flight operations for students at our Flight Training Organisation and the completion of ongoing maintenance tasks for existing customers.” We understand the “March 2019” date is the final closure of the legal entity.
The Babcock MCS Germany fleet consists of five Guimbal G2 Cabri, three Airbus H155s and one AS365N2. One of the H155s is currently being advertised on AvBuyer by Freestream Aircraft. The potential for placing five G2s onto the sales market would undoubtedly impact the pre-owned values of this French-built composite two seater which has a loyal following and very few of the 230+ built to date have changed owner from new.
The local news report also stated that company helicopter movements at Augsburg peaked at 24,000 in 2011, but had reduced to just 10,500 in 2017. The closure of the Augsburg operation will also impact the income of the airport.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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