After a year in which only 29 EC 225 Super Pumas were sold, industry leader Eurocopter announced yesterday two separate deals for the helicopter, totaling 19 aircraft in all with an option for an additional eight. CHC Helicopter Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, ordered 16, while the Bristow Group of Houston bought three and took options for eight more.
CHC, the world’s largest provider of helicopter services for the offshore oil and gas industry, already has six EC 225s on order, and it is expecting delivery of the total order to start December 2008 and continue through 2012. The company said it will use the new aircraft as fleet replacements and for additional client interests in the oil and gas offshore markets. There’s also a potential they will be used for government-sponsored search and rescue.
The relationship between CHC and Eurocopter is not new. CHC is currently the world’s largest civilian operator of the Super Puma family. As such, it will be supporting the EC 225 in house through its Heli-One subsidiary, which is fully licensed to repair and overhaul EC 225 components.
The Bristow Group is expecting delivery of its three EC 225s in 2008, with the options coming in 2009 and 2010, if needed. The company also has a long history with Eurocopter, beginning with the SA 330 in 1977. Bristow already operates five EC 225s, with an additional aircraft scheduled for delivery in a few weeks. It was also the launch customer of the passenger transport version of the EC 225.