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South American operators adapt to new normal
Having taken on a Sikorsky S-76C+ and hiring four new pilots to fly it, Aeromaster Táxi Aéreo has been almost entirely out of action in and around its usual locality of Sao Paulo. Its fleet has now gone in for maintenance.
Aeroprop logistics manager José Franco Seminario.
Read this story in our July 2020 printed issue.

Aeromaster forced to ground fleet and send pilots on vacation

Brazilian operator Aeromaster Táxi Aéreo has recently added a Sikorsky S-76C+ to its fleet. Flying most of its missions within a 130 nm radius of Sao Paulo, the company usually performs VIP flights, but at the start of this year it carried out power line inspections during thunderstorm season.

“Due to COVID, our flights decreased drastically,” says chief pilot Carlos Mendes. “In May, after we hired four pilots to fly the S-76, we had more or less zero flights.

“Due to lockdown in Sao Paulo and almost no demand, we put all our helicopters in for maintenance and installation of new equipment, and we also put all flight crew on leave. Unfortunately, in the last two months we have hardly flown at all.”

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Aeroprop reports that pandemic is law of the jungle

Peru's Aeroprop has added three Beechcraft E90s to its roster in the past 12 months. It specialises in missions to the Peruvian jungle, and Northern Sierra. It has not added new staff or facilities, but is waiting to see how the current tough climate plays out.

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FIFCO not raising a glass to lockdown

Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO), a Costa Rican food and beverages company headquartered in the province of Heredia, has stopped flying altogether since mid March. It usually flies to the US and Central America, moving company personnel around.

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