Bristow Rebrands Helicopter Operation in Brazil

 - September 2, 2020, 5:41 PM

Bristow Group is rebranding its wholly-owned Brazilian helicopter operator subsidiary Aeroleo as Bristow. Aeroleo was owned by Era Helicopters, which merged with Bristow in June as part of the latter’s post-bankruptcy strategy. Aeroleo has flown more than 300,000 flight hours in Brazil over the last 40 years.

Separately, Bristow announced that it was writing off its entire investment in Brazil’s Lider and would no longer be a shareholder in that company. Bristow acquired 41.5 percent of Lider for $174 million in 2009. Since 2016, Lider has posted significant revenue and profit decreases. In a conference call with stock analysts last month, Bristow CEO Chris Bradshaw said there was still a possibility that Bristow could recover some revenue from its Lider divestiture. 

Rebranding Aeroleo is seen as a move by Bristow to reaffirm its commitment to the Brazilian market in the wake of the Lider divestiture. “Despite the challenging market conditions, we maintain our strong presence in Brazil. We offer customers a modern fleet of aircraft, to include the [Leonardo] AW139, and our strong safety record is unmatched,” said Diego Medeiros, Bristow's manager for Brazil.

Bristow currently operates 12 AW139s in Brazil in support of state-owned Petrobras, independent exploration and production companies, and multinational oil and gas companies. In June, Petrobras issued a major new tender for helicopter services to its offshore facilities. 

The new post-merger Bristow group ended the second quarter with $298.7 million in liquidity and a balance sheet Bradshaw characterized as “strong.” Last month, he said that, in addition to continuing to serve the oil and gas market, the company is actively investigating the offshore wind market.