Expanding to Better Serve Customers, Bristow Group Invests in Eastern Airways

Bristow’s decision to acquire a 60-percent interest in Eastern Airways International Ltd. strengthens the companies’ 15-year relationship and offers the prospect of a seamless experience for passengers to offshore locations.

Customers and passengers can now enjoy a single point of contact for a combined, fixed-wing/rotor-wing need, providing savings in time, convenience and cost.

Both companies take pride in their strong safety records and capabilities that include state-of-the-art maintenance, repair, logistics and support systems.

“Through this alliance, we can leverage our respective strengths to create a seamless experience for passengers traveling to offshore locations.”

“Bristow and Eastern Airways serve many of the same customers, and our business portfolios are highly complementary in terms of service offerings and geographic footprint,” Bristow Helicopters Ltd. Managing Director Mike Imlach said at the time of the announcement. “Through this alliance, we can leverage our respective strengths to create a seamless experience for passengers traveling to offshore locations.”

Bristow has served as lead management contractor for the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) in the UK North Sea, providing helicopter services from Scatsta Airport in the Shetland Islands to the East and West Shetland Basins. As part of the contract, Bristow has been responsible for airport management and fixed-wing services, which have been provided by Eastern Airways. By joining companies, both can benefit from integrating logistical services, strengthening Bristow’s operational position in the Shetland Islands and facilitating the customer transport experience from home to offshore locations.

A closer look at Eastern

Eastern Airways began operations in 1997, linking its base at Humberside Airport on the U.K.’s English North Sea coastline with Aberdeen, Scotland, the center of operations for the oil and gas fields on the U.K. continental shelf. Today, its 30-aircraft fleet serves more than 20 airports across the U.K., Norway and France with more than 40,000 flights per year.

In Aberdeen, where Eastern Airways has more daily departures than any other carrier, the greatest number of its passengers work in the offshore oil and gas industry, and many of those passengers transfer to Bristow helicopters to reach their offshore destination. They also offer a shuttle service between Aberdeen and Scatsta in the Shetland Islands, the most northern point for helicopter operations in the U.K.

In addition to its scheduled U.K. network focused on the needs of the offshore oil and gas industry, Eastern Airways is an award-winning provider of private air charter flights to destinations throughout the U.K. and continental Europe. It has earned Gold and Silver Airline of the Year awards from the European Regions Airline Association, and it won Best Passenger Charter Airline of 2011 from the Baltic Air Charter Association.

Both Bristow and Eastern have stellar industry reputations in safety, reliability and service, and the affiliation of the two companies is certain to further enhance their customers’ experience.