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Energy / Bristow ‘disappointed’, Babcock ‘delighted’

A Bristows helicopter at Scatsta airport, where job losses are on the cards over the next few months. Photo Shetnews
A Bristow S-92 helicopter at Scatsta airport.

BRISTOW Helicopters has finally made a public statement almost two days after staff at Scatsta Airport were told they would be losing their jobs by the end of June as the operation of transferring oil worker to and from oil installations in the northern North Sea shifts to Sumburgh Airport.

The news that between 50 and 80 people are to be made redundant by a number of companies serving the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) contract has sent shockwaves through the north of Shetland.

Babcock meanwhile confirmed on Friday morning that they had secured a new five-year contract with three oil and gas operators to provide helicopter transport out of Sumburgh Airport.

Fixed-wing services between Aberdeen and Sumburgh will be provided by Loganair, the Babcock statement confirmed.

The director for UK and Turkmenistan Oil & Gas at Bristow Helicopters, Matt Rhodes, said late on Thursday that the company was working to understand the impact of losing the IAC contract.

“We are of course disappointed the new IAC contract has not been awarded to Bristow following many years of continuous strong performance,” he said.

“We are currently working to understand any potential impacts as a result of this outcome and will work to provide support our local employees who may be impacted.

“We continue to support activities east and west of Shetland with direct helicopter flights and via fixed wing services through our operational base in Sumburgh.

“As the largest helicopter solution provider in the UKCS, we will continue to deliver exceptional service to major and emerging oil and gas operators engaged in exploration, production and decommissioning activities West of Shetland, and in the northern, central and southern North Sea.”

Babcock’s offshore director Simon Meakins said the new contract would initially see the company operate more than 100 helicopter flights each month from Sumburgh on behalf of CNR International, EnQuest and TAQA as of 1 July 2020.

“We are delighted to welcome this new customer group to Babcock Offshore and look forward to working with them. We are committed to delivering the safe and efficient aviation support they require,” Meakins said.