Airport and UK coastguard rescue services immune from US woes - Bristow

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 16 May 2019

Crisis-hit Bristow Group has underlined how it will continue to have a “significant presence at Humberside Airport” after it was confirmed it retains ownership after selling off Eastern Airways.

The company’s UK entity, Bristow Helicopters Ltd, sold the fixed wing business back to founder Richard Lake OBE earlier this week, as the parent company filed for bankruptcy protection Stateside. 

It had bought a controlling stake in both the regional airline and the airport in 2014, following Eastern’s expansion to take on the Kirmington base in 2012.

A spokesperson for Bristow told Humberbusiness.com: “After a careful review of its ownership position, in light of the evolving end-market environment, Bristow decided that it is no longer financially strategic for Bristow Helicopters Ltd to maintain an ownership position in Eastern Airways. 

Clarity has been given to Bristow's ownership of Humberside Airport, after it sold Eastern Airways.

“The company therefore decided to sell its ownership stake and revert to its prior contracted services relationship. Bristow does not expect this change to impact employees, customers or Eastern’s operations or flight offerings. Bristow remains confident in the quality and safety of Eastern’s transport services and expects to continue its long-standing, strong relationship, which began in 1999. 

“As part of the transaction, Bristow will directly own shares in Humberside Airport that were previously owned by Eastern Airways and will continue to have a significant presence in Humberside, retaining its ownership stake and continuing its search and rescue operations from the Humberside base.”

Read more: US bankruptcy court allows airport owning Bristow to trade on

As reported, the company intends to use the protective proceedings, known as a Voluntary Chapter 11, to restructure and strengthen its balance sheet.

Having been hit by a slump in the oil and gas market, Bristow’s financial woes were compounded when the company was found to be in breach of leases after helicopters and their engines were interchanged. It was unable to file its fourth quarter results from 2018, putting it in breach of NYSE rules.

The base, and landing at Hull Royal Infirmary.

On the search and rescue front, a Maritime and Coastguard Agency spokesperson said: “Bristow Group is a minority shareholder in the UK-based Bristow Helicopters Ltd which operates the UK search and rescue helicopter contract.  It is the Bristow Group which has voluntarily entered Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection under United States Law.

“Bristow Helicopters Ltd is entirely unaffected by these recent developments.  Both the Group and the UK-based Bristow Helicopters Ltd continue to operate as normal. Therefore there will be no job losses in the UK SAR helicopter service as a result of these developments, nor will there will any reduction in the quality of the service provided.”



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