London-based Avincis Group made a splash during Helitech International 2013 in late September. In addition to teaming with Bristow Group and CHC to examine safety practices following a CAA review into North Sea offshore operations, the company has reached agreements with helicopter makers AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter and Eurocopter, as well as engine manufacturer Turbomeca.
|Avincis CEO James
Avincis has placed an order for up to 20 helicopters from Bell, consisting of the 429, 412 and 412EPI. The company plans to use the Bell variants in air medical/life and rescue operations.
The operator has also purchased five helicopters from AgustaWestland. The order includes two AW189s intended for offshore missions in the UK’s North Sea with Avincis subsidiary Bond Aviation. The other three helicopters – one AW139 and a pair of AW169s – will support EMS operations in Italy.
According to the companies, the preliminary agreements” for the five helicopters are part of a wider arrangement for up to 16 helicopters from the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family. The helicopters will serve in various roles, including offshore, EMS, utility and SAR, mainly in the UK and Italy.
Eurocopter purchased three EC225s for Avincis subsidiary Bond Helicopters Australia. Bond will use the aircraft to support PTTEP Australasia’s activities in the Timor Sea (PTTEP Australasia is part of Thailand’s national petroleum exploration and production company).
According to Eurocopter executive vice president of global business and services, Dominique Maudet “over 75 percent of the EC225s worldwide are now back in service.” Further emphasizing Eurocopter’s pushback on the recent incidents, he added that “the EC225 will be a benchmark in oil and gas operations for years to come.” Avincis Group director of fleet and engineering Martin Whittaker said that his company was looking forward to deploying the aircraft and adding them to their existing Eurocopter fleet of around 170 helicopters (out of a global fleet of 350 helicopters).
Safran Group subsidiary Turbomeca has inked a global support contract with Avincis, covering engines in operation with Australian Helicopters, Bond Air Services, Bond Offshore Helicopters and Inaer. The contract, which totals around 180 engines on 14 different helicopter types, includes Turbomeca’s Support by the Hour (SBH) program for the Bond and Inaer fleets.