It was a good year for the helicopter shipping business in 2011, according to Panalpina’s Juerg Boschung, business unit manager, and head of its helicopter shipping division. The Vancouver-based company handled a record number of air charters and flight diversions related to moving helicopters via air-freight around the world.
Panalpina uses Antonov An-124s and Boeing 747 freighters in several configurations to solve customers’ equipment logistics problems worldwide.
One of the more complex deliveries last year involved Sikorsky S-76 helicopters that needed to be relocated directly to Cabo Frio airport, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With no direct freighter service, Panalpina air-freighted the helicopters from overseas to a Huntsville, Alabama, hub, then diverted a scheduled weekly freighter run of its own, adding an additional stop in Cabo Frio to the route.
The structure of Panalpina’s extensive air-freight system allows for these diversions, saving customers the considerable expense of having to charter a single aircraft to lift a payload that could be combined with other shipments.
Panalpina Heliship is exhibiting here at Heli-Expo 2012 in Booth No. 6217.