Rotary operator CHC Group and certain of its wholly-owned subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the northern district of Texas. The decision has been taken in order to 'facilitate the restructuring of its balance sheet and fleet and position the company for long-term success'. The reorganisation intends to reduce long-term debt and enhance financial flexibility while allowing CHC to manage and operate its fleet of aircraft. Its debts total $2.19 bn while its assets are valued at $2.17 bn.
The operator flies a number of EC225LP Super Pumas on North Sea missions, one of which was lost in an accident in Norway on April 29 with 13 fatalities, currently under investigation. Passenger flights on the type in the UK and Norway are currently suspended. CHC expects day-to-day operations to continue without interruption throughout the court-supervised restructuring process. Says president and CEO Karl Fessenden: “Normal business operations will continue. The step we have taken today provides an orderly path to enhance our financial flexibility and establish a competitive capital and operating structure that will allow us to invest in and grow CHC's business over the long-term.”
Like many companies in the oil and gas industry, CHC's operations have been significantly affected by the dramatic decline in oil prices since their peak in 2014 and general uncertainty in the energy market, which has led to an increase in idle aircraft. Despite significant efforts to reduce costs, these factors, coupled with CHC's debt and aircraft lease obligations, resulted in a strategic shift from the board.