Two AW139 helicopters have entered service in Tanzania for Bristow, having been delivered by the operator's Kenyan alliance partner Everett Aviation. They arrived in the port of Dar es Salaam in late November after a sea journey from Philadelphia, and were then re-assembled and flown to Everett's Dar es Salaam facility at Julius Nyerere international airport. They have been supporting a major oil and gas contract as of January 2014.
“These are the first steps by Bristow into a new market in east Africa,” says IBU area operations and service delivery manager Jon Oakey. “Our alliance with Everett Aviation demonstrates the benefits that can be achieved while working closely with a local partner.” Oakey adds that the partnership and success of getting these aircraft ready for service shows a commitment to achieving operational excellence in a new region of operation, and praises the work and effort put in by the whole team in arranging the specification, delivery and re-assembly of the helicopters.
Bristow is also celebrating 30 years of delivering SAR services to Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands, UK, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Former chief crewman Chris Bond, who was at Sumburgh when the operation began, pays tribute to the achievement: “There is no better way to help our fellow man. I can't emphasise enough the enthusiasm and commitment of the people that work in the SAR community.
“There was one young fellow I remember at Sumburgh, Kieran Murray Junior, that I was pushing on swings with my kids when he was five years old, and he is now a SAR commander. These are dedicated people who have created an amazing unit and their whole lives revolve around their work.”
Additionally, the operator has been successful in securing a five-year contract worth around £125 million to provide helicopter services to BP Exploration Operating Company. Bristow will provide helicopter support for BP's offshore installations to the west of Shetland and in the east Shetland basin, commencing in July 2015 with two sole-use Sikorsky S-92 aircraft based at Sumburgh.
Mike Imlach, Bristow's director of European operations, looks forward to carrying out the BP missions: “This has been a significant win for Bristow, and we will be operating a safe, efficient service supporting offshore requirements,” he says.