Bond Offshore Helicopters has become the latest operator to detail the financial impact of last year’s effective grounding of much of the global Eurocopter EC225 fleet.
In its accounts for the year to 31 December 2012, recently filed at the UK’s Companies House, the Aberdeen-based operator says the grounding of the Super Puma helicopters from October 2012 cost it £4.17 million ($6.74 million) in barely three months.
The accounts state that “turnover and profitability on a pro-rata basis decreased in 2012, primarily as a result of the issues affecting the Eurocopter EC225 fleet.
“This resulted in reduced flying hours and also additional non-recurring costs,” the accounts note.
The restriction on overwater flights, imposed by the civil aviation regulators in the UK and Norway following a pair of North Sea ditchings – one involving a Bond aircraft – persisted until July this year.
In fact, Bond has returned only one of its three Aberdeen-based EC225s to service within the last month, suggesting at least another nine months of potential charges.
However, Bond did not provide further detail on the cost implications for the duration of the flight ban that were not covered by the accounts.
Turnover for the year stood at £96 million with pre-tax profit at £2.68 million, compared with £76.6 million turnover and £7.41 million pre-tax profit for the nine months to end-December 2011.
Parent company Bond Aviation Holdings, which also owns EMS provider Bond Air Services, recorded turnover of £132 million, with operating profit of £15.7 million.
Fellow North Sea operators Bristow Group and CHC Helicopter have also blamed the EC225 grounding for reduced profitability.