UK offshore helicopter services newcomer Bond Helicopters has begun recruiting for its new Norwich airport-based operation having recently confirmed the make-up of its senior management team.

Bond Helicopters – a joint venture between UK stock market listed Gama Aviation and rotary-wing veteran Peter Bond – emerged in March last year, with its first contract a five-year offshore support deal with Perenco.


Source: Matt Varley via Flickr

Bond will base five AW139s at Norwich airport for Perenco contract

Operations from Norwich are due to start in January 2024 when the contract switches over from incumbent Bristow Helicopters. Bond will use five Leonardo Helicopters AW139 intermediate-twins for the work.

Ahead of the contract start, Bond has begun recruiting front-line staff for the operation: a LinkedIn advert shows it is seeking AW139 captains and first officers, as well as engineering personnel.

Meanwhile, the firm has bolstered its senior leadership team. Previously, Peter Bond was listed as sole director, but in early July was joined by Marwan Khalek, Mark Smith, and Ceri Schunmann.

Khalek is chief executive of Gama Aviation, while Smith is managing director of its special missions business. Schunmann, meanwhile, joined Bond in February this year as managing director, having formerly held the position of head of training at fellow helicopter firm NHV’s UK unit.

Additionally, Companies House filings show Bond as having clarified its share structure and articles of association.

Ratified on 3 July, this sees the existing holdings of Gama (50 shares) and Peter Bond (45 shares) reclassified as Gama and Bond ordinary shares, respectively, while the remaining five shares held by Peter Bond become C ordinary shares, which carry no voting rights.

Dividends are to be split equally between the Gama and Bond shares. Other capital distributions – such as following a liquidation – will see the holders of the Gama shares receive 50% of the proceeds, C shareholders up to 10% – declining to 5% by July 2026 – and holders of the Bond shares the remainder.

And although billed as a joint venture, the company’s articles of association show Gama to be the more dominant party, effectively eliminating the Bond shareholders’ ability to veto ordinary resolutions.