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Old 24th Dec 2003, 19:58   #41 (permalink)
 
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This article appeared in 'This Day' in September:
Caverton Helicopters
I was told they now have 2 Agusta 109, not EC 135s. If so, it will be the first time the 109 has been operated as a civil helicopter in Nigeria.
They also have some kind of floating helistop down at VI now.
If they're going to have only expatriate pilots it will surely upset the national pilots and I wonder how they will get work permits for them if they don't employ Nigerians. It will also make the service very expensive if they have to pay for a lot of expatriates, so I hope they can make it pay and not go the way of Okada.
Still, the Makanjuola family is well connected in Nigeria and they get plenty money, so they should be able to make it work well.
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Old 2nd Mar 2004, 09:31   #42 (permalink)
 
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At last Caverton Helicopters is advertising for helicopter pilots in Flight. They still have no helicopters in Nigeria and contacts say that all they have so far is 2 Agusta 109Es which are still in Europe. It looks as if the S76 in their advert is just a 'fishing expedition' for possible future expansion. Their hangar at MM Airport looks really big (maybe for planned fixed wing expansion in competition withy ACN?), but their downtown heliport has a way to go yet.
I hear that the Chief Pilot has not yet arrived here and has never been to Nigeria. I'm sure he'll find that he is most welcome and that it's not a bad place to be, despite some of the previous stories here on Prune.
It will be interesting to see if Caverton can match the salaries and leave schedules being offered by Bristow and Aero if they only have 2 helicopters which will not be on contract, but having to earn their keep on the short run between VI and MM airport. ACN are still recruiting and are offering 6/6 contracts paid in euro and Bristow also have to replace the pilots they laid off at Eket after the Exxon/Mobil age ruling. They are offering 7/5 contracts which pay a bit more than ACN. Both Bristow/OLOG and ACN operate exclusively on oil company contracts so to a great extent their pilots are paid for in advance. It will be interesting to see if a wholly Nigerian company can compete against 2 major worldwide operators in terms of pay, conditions and long-term job security. It will also, undoubtedly be interesting to see if the Agusta 109 can stay serviceable in Africa and even more, whether it is able to carry the volumes of baggage which Nigerian business passengers connecting with international flights will undoubtedly want to carry. I hear that there has been a lot of overt hostility to their operation from Aero, possibly because they see them as more of a threat than Bristow in the long term (because of Aero's fixed wing operations, and possibly some professional jealousy that they didn't think of the idea of setting up a shuttle service between MM and VI first).
I'm sure that over the next few months their operations will start and it is to be hoped that for once a Nigerian company will be here to stay unlike the previous efforts of Okada and Stillwater and the lack of any growth of Southern Air. I'm sure that most of us will wish them good luck and be happy that their arrival will herald an expansion in the jobs market in Nigeria.
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Old 2nd Mar 2004, 22:14   #43 (permalink)
 
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With ACN, Bristow/OLOG and Caverton all recruiting staff for Nigeria at the moment there's a very good book which is worthwhile reading for anybody contemplating going there. It's 'this house has fallen - Nigeria in Crisis' by Karl Maier, published by Penguin (ISBN 0-14-029884-3). Mr Maier is a journalist who spent a number of years in Nigeria and likes the Nigerian people. The book is not optimistic but it is fair, honest, and sympathetic. It's also well written and an easy read. (oh and by the way, I'm not associated with the book in any way, so it's not a commercial plug, just trying to help those thinking of Nigeria for work )
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Old 3rd Mar 2004, 02:27   #44 (permalink)
 
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A Sonair 76 C+ had a main gearbox malfunction last week offshore from Angola. Gos is an oil pump failure putting metal in the gearbox. They had the chip light, low pressure, high temperature. Fortunately they were only 5 nm or so from their departure vessel and managed to land back on. Heard that the oil company isn't happy they landed on the vessel and said they should have put it in the water. All hearsay.
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Old 3rd Mar 2004, 13:26   #45 (permalink)
 
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CHC Helicopter looks for global cost savings after foreign-exchange losses

DENE MOORE
Canadian Press
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. (CP) - CHC Helicopter Corp. is looking for cost savings at its international operations to help offset foreign-exchange losses that led to an $8.1-million drop in revenue in the last quarter.

Company president Sylvain Allard said Tuesday that CHC took a $5.9-million restructuring charge but hopes to realize $11 million in savings from the reorganization of its European operations.

"As far as the restructuring in Europe, we're done," Allard told analysts in a conference call.

CHC recently consolidated the company's European operations, creating a single management structure and streamlining the workforce.

The 3,400-employee firm is the world's largest provider of heavy and medium helicopter services to the global offshore energy industry.

Now the company will evaluate recent acquisitions and operations in other countries, Allard said the day after the Newfoundland-based helicopter services company revealed lower earnings and revenues for its latest fiscal quarter.

"We're looking at other areas outside Europe where we can look at cost savings, obviously Schreiner being one," he said. "In terms of costs, it's too early to even say where that's going to be."

CHC announced in December that it had acquired Netherlands-based Schreiner Aviation Group in a $129-million cash deal.

Chief financial officer Jo Marc Zurel said in the coming months the firm will evaluate the Schreiner holdings, which currently operates as an autonomous subsidiary.

"Certainly within the next quarter to two quarters we should be able to give a little more detail on what we'd look to sell, but we don't want to be too hasty in making decisions on these things," he said.

CHC reported Monday it earned $9 million or 43 cents a share for the three months ended Jan. 31. That compared with a profit of $15.6 million or 76 cents a share for the same period a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue fell to $171.9 million from $180 million, due mainly to unfavourable foreign exchange and a soft market in the North Sea, where CHC does most of its business.

The company lost $13.9 million as the value of the Canadian dollar strengthened against the Norwegian kroner, the pound sterling and the U.S. dollar.

"It's important to keep in mind that CHC is an international company with virtually no Canadian-dollar revenue," Zurel said.

For the nine months ended Jan. 31, CHC earned $38.3 million or $2.15 per share on revenues of $518.2 million. That compared with a profit of $43.2 million or $2.47 per share on revenues of $546.7 million for the same period a year earlier.

Despite the dropping revenues, Allard said the third quarter was one of the company's best, thanks to the Schreiner acquisition and more than $700 million in new and renewed contracts.

CHC's core business is providing helicopter services to the world's offshore oil and gas companies. About two-thirds of CHC's more than $720 million in annual revenue is generated by offshore helicopter services, with the rest coming from air ambulance, search and rescue, onshore work and repair and overhaul services.

In trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday, CHC's class-A shares (TSX:FLY.A) fell three cents to $36.47.
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 15:29   #46 (permalink)
 
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Danger

Nearly 2 years after Caverton Helicopters first advertised in Flight magazine they still have no helicopter in Nigeria, they've built a huge hangar at MM airport, they've hired a couple of Brits and a South African and they still haven't flown a single flight. Are these people serious or is it just another Nigerian scam? If they're just going to fly a VIP shuttle between MM airport and VI why have they got such a huge hangar and why are they advertising for pilots with experience on the S76C?
Anybody been offered work by them yet?
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 16:05   #47 (permalink)
 
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Question

Has anybody heard any more news about the new contract in Sudan yet? I hear that there are quite a number of bidders this time, ranging from MHS to CHC to Schreiner.
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Old 14th Mar 2004, 17:00   #48 (permalink)
 
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I've heard that the Sudan contract will be announced in the next few weeks. Does anyone know if this is an onshore or offshore job and what helicopter type is required?

Bluey
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 18:32   #49 (permalink)
 
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Sudan Contracts

Words out, Looks like CHCA ( Africa) has been awarded a 12mos contract with Petronas to supply one of each B-212, AS-332, B-206 for onshore support of five platforms. Looks like I might be 'nominated' to go and from what I've read, it ranks right up there with dysentry and root canals! Looks like Malabo might not have been so bad!
Anyone with any operational experience is welcome to post their experiences , recommendations etc.
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Old 7th Apr 2004, 22:23   #50 (permalink)
 
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To Mama Mangrove : CHC bought Schreiner
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Old 21st Apr 2004, 19:30   #51 (permalink)
 
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Just back from the swamps so I've been a bit out of touch with Prune.

rotordk. CHC bought Schreiner but they still operate independently under that name and bid on contracts in their own right.

Hear that although Bristow is changing to 8/4 it will be for more money and that they'll also be offering 6/6 for less money to balance things up.. They may be getting some 332Ls in Nigeria in addition to their new S76C+s for deepwater offshore.

Aero Contractors are also rumored to be getting some new 365N3s and EC135s, with the possibility of some 332Ls if they need them for the deepwater contracts.

Pan African must be pleased that they managed to get the icing on the cake with the helicopters for the Presidency, and they've taken a few Nigerian pilots from the other operators to man them.

New starter Caverton Helicopters seems to be new stopper at the moment! Their only helicopter, an A109 is still in UK and the new South African MD they hired to get things up and running seems to be unable to move them forward. Their hangar is still not complete, nor is their floating VI helipad. They'll need a lifejacket to stay afloat and watch the boat leaving at their present rate of progress . I hear that they think they can get expat pilots to work a 12/4 roster for less money than any of the other operators are paying, despite the fact that all of them are getting stretched for pilots willing to work in Nigeria. I'd have thought that to get pilots to work for a wholly Nigerian company, with the reputation they have, Caverton would have to offer a better deal. Unless they actyually start soon the entire exercise is probably a bit academic anyway.

What's happening out there in the rest of the swamps and mountains, PPruners? What about the rumours of a number of expatriate staff having had to leave Malabo as a result of the alleged coup plot after the 727 was arrested in Zim?

Let's get a bit of feed back. I can't believe that you no dey hear anyting at all!!
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Old 21st Apr 2004, 19:59   #52 (permalink)
 
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Mama Mangrove

Bristow has had 2x AS332Ls in Nigeria since March 18th working for Shell Deepwater (Bonga Field?)

Who is the Oil Company in the Sudan? Rumour is that bid submission date has been extended to 12 May instead of 12 April.

HH
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Old 12th Jul 2004, 19:13   #53 (permalink)
 
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I guess nothing's happening in Africa at the moment then?

I hear that a lot of the Antipodeans working for CHC/ACN in Nigeria are less than happy with their travel arrangements and are looking to leave. Guess that will make ACN have pilot shortage problems all over again. These could be made worse because new operator Caverton will undoubtedly poach staff from the other operators. They seem at last to be getting some kind of act together and it's rumored that their A109 could even arrive before the end of the year!! Haven't heard of many pilots interested in working for them yet though - maybe because they decided to pay their expats staff in $US, or because it's taken them over 2 years to even get 1 helicopter close to up and running?

There are also quite strong rumors that CHC will be closing down most of the Schreiner facilities in Hoofddorp, Holland, and transferring them to Aberdeen to their new operations centre. This will probably cause them quite a few problems as Dutch unions are not reknowned for giving up without a good fight - watch this space!!

Another rumor doing the rounds of Schreiner staff overseas is that those working in Africa will be transferred to the control of CHC Africa, be administered from South Africa, and will have no pay rises until their pay is as low as that of other CHC Africa operations (currrently a basic of around US$3500 a month). There are persistent denials by management, which are just as persistently not believed by the staff, epecially after the debacle over the changes to the way their tax is handled! As they have a lot of management staff, maybe there will be fewer of them around to make the denials in future! Expect to see further bail outs from all those worried about their pay and future.

Shell are also rumored to be thinking of pulling out of onshore operations in Nigeria and this is causing a number of OLOG/Bristow pilots to worry about their jobs.

Not altogtether a happy or secure scene at the moment
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Old 12th Jul 2004, 22:42   #54 (permalink)
 
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MM, your info is a little dated. Ref. the CHC management shakeup in Oz thread. Mr. Dobbin's letter assuages some doubts, hopefully.

If CHC Africa had gotten the nod, a more likely result would have been a sudden staff shortage.

The Shell rumour was, to my eyes, more reporters that can't read rather than an actual desire to leave.
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 10:25   #55 (permalink)
 
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Helo Teacher,

Are you in CHC management by any chance?

Mama Mangrove didn't mention anything of management shake-ups in Oz, he was talking about Holland. And the rumors are still circulating about who will finally control the present Schreiner operations in Africa, with no rebuttals from anyone in CHC management. You don't get sudden staff shortages while people are looking at alternatives. After all, it's only a few months since the CHC take-over of Schreiner. Hope you're right (for my own sake!).
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 15:32   #56 (permalink)
 
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Mentioned Thread w/ letter

See the above for the letter. That is what I was directing the attention to in the thread. My post was poorly worded but I was a little tired. I consider that a rebbutal.

Funny, whenever someone on PPRuNe is actually supportive of a company then they must be part of it's management. On the contrary, I've pi$$ed quite a few of them off, but am a long way from being part of it (management).

You are correct, no staff shortages when people are looking. The staff shortages happen when people with balls are willing to quit immediately upon a change that adversely affects them, rather than hanging on. We're still be waiting to see who stays and goes if the worst happens. I'm confident it won't.
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 20:30   #57 (permalink)
 
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Helo Teacher,
Thanks for that link. I work for CHC but that's the first time I've seen Mr Dobbin's letter. Guess distribution is not a CHC strongpoint, but it has set my mind at rest a bit. Sorry if I thought you were management, it's just I never even heard of the information you were mentioning until I read your link!
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Old 13th Jul 2004, 21:05   #58 (permalink)
 
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HT you got proMoted? LOL Next thing ya will be running across the pond for a beer with the boss! LOL

Got sun finally!
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Old 5th Aug 2004, 13:05   #59 (permalink)
 
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Talking Caverton again!!

Hear Caverton have placed options on 2 x AB 139's !! When they arrive it should make things interesting!!!
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Old 6th Aug 2004, 16:12   #60 (permalink)
 
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Caverton....AB139's!! It's taken them 2 years just to get 1 A109 to Nigeria - and that's the wrong aircraft for the job they want to do.
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