Bristow Group has signed long term, favourable maintenance support agreements with Leonardo Helicopters for airframes and Pratt & Whitney for engines on the company's global fleet of AW139 helicopters.
The legacy Era Helicopters AW139 fleet [Bristow merged with Era in June 2020] was previously covered by a limited power-by-the-hour (PBH) support agreement with Leonardo for the airframes, while the engines were maintained on a time and cost of materials basis. The legacy Bristow AW139 fleet was covered by multiple, disparate PBH support agreements with Leonardo for the airframes, and the engines were covered under a PBH agreement with Pratt & Whitney. The new agreements result in consistent, global maintenance support programmes for Bristow's AW139 helicopters.
"Following the merger of Era and Bristow in June 2020, we have been working for two years to align our AW139 maintenance support agreements on the most favourable terms possible for Bristow," says senior vice president, global fleet management Stuart Stavley. "The cost certainty contained in these agreements is particularly valuable given the broader economic backdrop of the current inflationary environment."
The aggregate buy-in cost is approximately $55 million, which will be paid in instalments between June and December 2022.
"These long term agreements provide greater certainty and better economics for our global AW139 fleet," says president and CEO Chris Bradshaw. "In addition to the direct investment benefits, which we expect to deliver unlevered, cash-on-cash returns of approximately 20 per cent over the life of the agreements, these new support programmes will result in maintenance expenses that are more directly correlated with flight hours and provide more predictable cash flows for the company. In addition, we believe the standardisation of these maintenance programmes and associated reserves enhance the value of Bristow's AW139 aircraft, and we believe the totality of the agreements, inclusive of enhanced cash flows for the company, represents substantial value creation for Bristow shareholders."
Bristow has also signed long term maintenance support agreements with Leonardo for the AW189 airframe, with Honeywell for the AW139 avionics suite and with General Electric for support of AW189 and S-92 engines.