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Air Greenland wins contract to gain charter monopoly
Air Greenland has taken over of Air Alpha Greenland giving it a virtually monopoly of air charter operations in the world's largest island. The company's facilities in Ilulissat and four helicopters - three Bell222s and an AS350 B3 - are included in the acquisition. The Air Greenland fleet now includes these aircraft and three Sikorsky S-61s.

Air Greenland has taken over of Air Alpha Greenland giving it a virtually monopoly of air charter operations in the world's largest island.

The company's facilities in Ilulissat and four helicopters - three Bell222s and an AS350 B3 - are included in the acquisition. The Air Greenland fleet now includes these aircraft and three Sikorsky S-61s.

Thorkild Videbaek, md of Air Alpha Greenland (which was a subsidiary of the Denmark-based Air Alpha) says Greenland is a relatively small market for charter and service contracts with the government are important. Air Greenland won the latest contracts. He says these effectively cover running costs and give charter operations the chance of profit.

Videbaek adds: "Of course it is sad. We have a lot of competent and successful people in Air Alpha Greenland but they will have a job in Greenland with the new company if they want it. It is the only viable way. The company could not survive without the contracts just on charter business alone."

Stign Naesh, president of Air Alpha, says that Air Alpha will concentrate on its three core activities of aircraft management mantenance and operations.

Naesh says: "We have just opened a new office in Moscow which has proved quite successful and we are expanding our core business activities in the Russian marketplace."

Air Greenland's director Flemming Knudsen says the deal, with the acquisition of facilities and helicopters that already fulfill Greenland's stringent operating requirements, was an opportunity to satisfy increased client demand.

Air Alpha's director and founder of Air Alpha Greenland, Poul Luebbert, says the sale is a happy ending to the loss of the service contracts. "I believe that the sale will give Air Alpha the opportunity to use the

remaining helicopters in the development of its strategy for a series of new and exciting products and markets," he adds.

There is a series of commercial agreements between buyer and seller for technical operational support for the Bell 222 helicopter.

Luebbert adds: "Those employees who are not staying with Air Alpha Greenland are guaranteed employment with the Air Alpha in Denmark."

Before the takeover Air Alpha Greenland operated scheduled and charter flights. It also operated some search and rescue and transport of people.

The Air Alpha Group was established in 1992. Its subsidiaries include Air Alpha Aircraft Maintenance and Air Alpha Aircraft Sales which is sole distributor for New Piper Aircraft in Scandinavia, the Baltic States and Russia. It is sole agent for the Italian based Piaggio Aero Industries in Scandinavia. It sells new and pre-owned aircraft.

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