Bristow Group Announces 14 New Aircraft Purchases, 9 Additional Options

HOUSTON, July 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS), a leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, today announced firm agreements to purchase 14 new aircraft. Bristow has exercised options to acquire three S-92 and six S-76C++ helicopters from Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX). In addition, Bristow has exercised options to purchase two EC225 and three EC135 helicopters from Eurocopter, a division of EADS.

The combined value of these purchases is approximately $185 million, which will be funded with the proceeds of recently completed financings and from future operating cash flows.

In addition to the firm purchase orders, Bristow has taken out new options to purchase eight additional S-92s and one additional EC135. As part of its growth strategy, Bristow maintains multi-year options to purchase additional aircraft from both Sikorsky and Eurocopter for future customer needs.

The S-92 and EC225 aircraft are larger helicopters capable of flying longer distances to serve oil and gas facilities in remote and environmentally harsh offshore locations. The S-76C++ helicopters are medium-size aircraft that provide versatility in terms of distance, passenger capacity and markets in which they can operate. The EC135 is a light, twin-engine helicopter that is suitable for shorter distances.

Bristow expects to take delivery of the S-92s in late 2009 and deploy them internationally. The S-76C++ aircraft will be delivered beginning in late 2009 and continuing through the fall of 2010, and are expected to be deployed both domestically and internationally.

The EC225s are scheduled for delivery in late 2009, with one expected to operate in the U.S. and the others internationally. The EC135s will be delivered between now and mid-2009 for deployment in the Western Hemisphere.

William E. Chiles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bristow Group, said, "These latest aircraft purchases and the expansion of our option book demonstrate the strength we are continuing to see in both international and U.S. markets. We are committed to maintaining the safest and most efficient fleet in the industry to meet the more stringent needs and requirements of our customers who are operating in increasingly remote, harsh and operationally challenging offshore environments. We expect to continue to expand and upgrade our fleet as the market demands over the next several years."

About Bristow Group Inc.

Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of helicopter services to the worldwide offshore energy industry based on the number of aircraft operated. Through its subsidiaries, affiliates and joint ventures, the Company has operations in most of the major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world, including in the North Sea, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and Australia. For more information, visit


Statements contained in this news release that state the Company's or management's intentions, hopes, beliefs, expectations or predictions of the future are forward-looking statements. It is important to note that the Company's actual results could differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements is contained from time to time in the Company's SEC filings, including but not limited to the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2008. Bristow Group Inc. disclaims any intention or obligation to revise any forward-looking statements, including financial estimates, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Linda McNeill, Investor Relations

(713) 267-7622

SOURCE Bristow Group Inc.