Bristow Helicopters, a UK-based offshore helicopter operator, will reduce its workforce after failing to reach its cost reduction targets through other means.
In an e-mail sent to Offshore Energy Today on Thursday, the helicopter operator revealed it would lay off around 130 employees, also citing severe cuts in oil & gas market activity. Bristow employs around 1950 workers in the UK.
A Bristow spokesperson said: “Bristow Helicopters Ltd can confirm that its operations in the UK continue to be impacted due to the ongoing reduction of oil and gas activity in the North Sea, as our clients make permanent changes to their cost structure and operational practices.”
“The company has taken numerous measures to reduce costs by working closely with clients to improve operational efficiencies, eliminate discretionary spending, defer capital spend, and offer voluntary redundancy. However, we have not been able to reach the level of cost reduction needed and approximately 130 personnel may be affected by redundancy in the UK. “
“These are difficult yet necessary proposals as we continue to align our cost structure and capacity to that of our clients in this rapidly changing, highly competitive helicopter transportation market. The company is consulting with the trade unions and employees on these proposals.”
BALPA: Devastating news
Responding to the Bristow Helicopters’ announcement, the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has called for the government to call for a summit on North Sea jobs.
According to BALPA, out of 130 people which are likely to lose their jobs, there are up to 66 helicopter pilots and 64 other staff.
BALPA said Thursday it “is now entering into a consultative period with the company and will do all it can to save as many jobs as possible.”
BALPA General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, said
“This is devastating news for the Bristow community and BALPA is doing everything it can to support pilots who are affected.
“This announcement reflects the collapse in the oil price and its impact on North Sea industry. Pilots want to see that industry thrive again and ensure when it does, we have the skilled pilots and other workers available. We must now make certain that businesses all the way down the supply chain are not squeezed by the big oil and gas companies.
“The government needs to nurse the industry through this downturn so skills are not lost when the situation improves. BALPA is calling for a jobs summit with the Treasury, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Scottish Government and the Department for Transport to take stock of the situation. This loss of experience is a major threat to the UK industry as well as a personal catastrophe for the individuals concerned.
“BALPA will do all it can to protect pilots who are feeling the brunt of the downturn in the North Sea oil industry.”
Offshore Energy Today Staff