Petrobras to cancel helicopter tender

Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil giant, will cancel the ongoing tender process for heavy and medium helicopters.

Namely, Era Group Inc., a helicopter transport operator based in the United States, announced that its Brazilian joint venture, Aeróleo Taxi Aero S/A (Aeroleo), on Wednesday received notification from Petrobras that it will cancel the tender process.

According to Era Group, in its notification, Petrobras noted its determination that it does not have a need to contract for additional helicopters after a review of its aviation needs in light of the ongoing challenges in the macroeconomic environment and continued low price of oil. As a result, Petrobras noticed cancelation of the pending awards for heavy and medium helicopters pursuant to the bids submitted in January 2015, including 4 EC225 heavy helicopters and 4 AW139 medium helicopters with respect to which Aeroleo was the identified low bidder, Era explained.

Aeroleo had been awaiting execution of the contracts in respect of the awards and targeting launch of the heavy helicopter services prior to the end of 2015 and the medium helicopter services during the first quarter of 2016.

Potential job losses

Aeroleo has 10 aircraft on contract with Petrobras today, including contracts for 3 EC225 heavy helicopters scheduled to expire in November 2015 and contracts for 7 AW139 medium helicopters scheduled to expire between December 2019 and May 2020. If an extension is not secured for the existing EC225 contracts, Aeroleo will need to evaluate potential headcount reductions of pilots and shore-based personnel, the company said.

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