Citing ‘Horrific Downturn,’ Bristow Reorganizes

By James T. McKenna | June 9, 2017
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Photo courtesy of Bristow

Bristow Group is reorganizing its structure and business operations, dropping a global approach to air services and narrowing its pursuit into new business areas to focus on meeting offshore energy firms’ demands for greater efficiency in specific world regions amid a chronically severe downturn.

“The market has gone into a longer, more horrific downturn,” said Johnathan Baliff, Bristow President/CEO, June 9 in launching what the company labeled “our action plan for a competitive and profitable future.” He added, “We are shrinking to fit the current market demand. The objective of the actions today is to create a more competitive Bristow,” with a significantly strengthened capital structure and lower overhead.


Streamlining Bristow’s corporate structure is the first step, he said, “but there will be other announcements, so stay tuned. This is going to be a long slog.”

A key objective of the plan is helping oil and gas, and other customers, achieve greater regional efficiency in their operations.

“Our clients are going to become more efficient regionally from a cost structure standpoint for transportation to platforms and rigs with or without us,” Baliff said. “For us, it’s about our clients’ success, bringing our clients’ costs down, doing more with less aircraft but still remaining incredibly safe.”

Under the plan, Bristow is reducing its corporate headquarters operation in Houston, Texas, cutting its overhead costs to 12% of revenue and splitting its global structure into two regional hubs. Many executives have left Bristow as a result, Baliff said, and others will follow.

Bristow’s Europe hub includes the U.K., Norway, the Middle East and Africa. But it also includes Asia, Australia and Turkmenistan. It will be led by a veteran of nearly 40 years in the oilfield service business, Alan Corbett, who has been named VP Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia (EAMEA) and is responsible for operations and commercial development in those areas. His responsibilities include Bristow’s Airnorth and Eastern Airways operations.

Corbett also will oversee commercial support activities for headquarters and the Europe and the Americas hub, which includes Bristow Academy, U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and Canada, as well as Suriname, Guyana and Trinidad.

The Americas hub will be led by Rob Phillips, who as VP Americas will be responsible for operations and business development efforts for those areas. Phillips also will have global oversight of operational infrastructure support activities. Phillips, who joined Bristow in 2003, began his 25-year-plus offshore aviation experience as a pilot.

Corbett and Phillips report to Baliff.

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