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Business Air News
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Bristow Helicopters
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Eastern Airways
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Bristow Helicopters acquires Eastern Airways while Baliff steps into the role of group ceo
Bristow Helicopters Ltd has acquired a 60 per cent interest in Aberdeen, UK-based Eastern Airways International. Eastern Airways will continue to operate independently from Bristow, and under its own brand led by the current management team.
Read this story in our March 2014 printed issue.

Bristow Helicopters Ltd has acquired a 60 per cent interest in Aberdeen, UK-based Eastern Airways International. Eastern Airways will continue to operate independently from Bristow, and under its own brand led by the current management team. The agreement builds on a pre-existing relationship between the two companies that dates back to 1999.

Mike Imlach, Bristow Helicopters md, says: “Bristow and Eastern Airways serve many of the same customers. Our business portfolios are highly complementary in terms of service offerings and geographic footprint. Through this investment, we can leverage our respective strengths to create a seamless experience for passengers travelling to offshore locations.”

Eastern Airways was formed in 1997 and today operates more flights from Aberdeen than any other carrier. Its fleet of 30 aircraft provide frequent flights across the UK, Norway and France, including its core network of scheduled services to the North Sea offshore oil and gas industry. The airline also provides daily charter services for oil and gas industry customers employed by the companies that make up the Integrated Aviation Consortium.

Elsewhere, Bristow Group's president and ceo William E Chiles is to retire from these positions at a shareholder's meeting scheduled for July. His successor is set to be senior vp and cfo Jonathan E Baliff.

Chiles will remain in a consulting role for a further two years as he steps down from the board of directors, and it is expected that Baliff will be nominated for election at the board's annual meeting.

Group chairman Tom Knudson says: “We are thrilled that Jonathan will lead Bristow as the company's next president and ceo. He is an experienced executive with a unique combination of critical attributes, a proven track record of execution, clear strategic vision and global insight, and unmatched financial acumen. He has an understanding of aviation safety, the international marketplace and our customer base.”

Knudson also thanked Chiles on behalf of the board for his stewardship: “Bill's leadership has been instrumental in setting a very strong tone at the top, producing excellent performance, creating a collaborative culture, and making Bristow the safe, ethical, and strong company it is today.”

On his new appointment, Baliff remarks: “I am honoured to have been selected to serve as ceo. I am fortunate to have my colleagues to collaborate with as we pursue our mission to provide the safest and most efficient helicopter services and aviation support worldwide.”

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