Commercial

Rotorcraft Report: Bristow Converts Options For S-92s, EC225s

By Staff Writer | August 1, 2008

COMMERCIAL | OFFSHORE

In a sign that demand for offshore support services remains robust, Bristow Group has exercised options to acquire more helicopters from Eurocopter and Sikorsky Aircraft.

The offshore-support operator exercised options to purchase two Eurocopter EC225s and three EC135s. Bristow also exercised options on its existing contract with Sikorsky for three S-92s and six S-76C++s to cover offshore-support contracts around the world. In addition, it took new options for eight more S-92s and one more EC135.

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The operator said the combined value of the purchases is about $185 million. It will pay for the new orders with funds from recently completed financings and from future operating cash flows.

As part of its growth strategy, Bristow maintains multi-year options to purchase additional aircraft from both Sikorsky and Eurocopter for future customer needs.

The EC225s are scheduled for delivery in late 2009; Bristow expects one to operate in the United States and the others internationally. The EC135s are to be delivered by mid-2009 for deployment in the Western Hemisphere.

"These latest aircraft purchases and the expansion of our option book demonstrate the strength we are continuing to see in both international and U.S. markets," said Bristow President and CEO William Chiles. "We expect to continue to expand and upgrade our fleet as the market demands over the next several years."

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