Ireland-based helicopter lessor Waypoint Leasing is establishing a local office in Rio de Janeiro to support a growing fleet of operators in Brazil and in the future the rest of Latin America.

The local office will be staffed by Steffen Bay, a veteran of helicopter manufacturer Airbus and operators Era and Aeroleo Aero Taxi.

Bay’s presence in Rio de Janeiro echoes similar recent moves by Waypoint Leasing to establish local offices in Singapore and London. Two more locations for regional offices also will soon be announced, says senior vice-president of sales and relationship management Clark McGinn.

“Steffen was spending his time in the wrong time zone in Limerick (Ireland),” McGinn says. “Now he is going to be here in the office with these guys helping solve those day to day bits of schtick that just come with the helicopter world.”

Bay’s presence will help support a growing operation in Brazil. Several Brazilian operators, including Lider Avicao and Brazilian Helicopter Services (BHS), lease a total of 10 helicopters from Waypoint Leasing, including a new sale-leaseback deal announced on 11 August with Lider involving one Sikorsky S-92.

Waypoint Leasing continues to build a global presence despite an extended slump in the oil-and-gas sector, the world’s biggest client of helicopter leasing services.

Early hopes for a quick recovery in the oil and gas sector have already faded, and Waypoint Leasing is preparing to wait for a full recovery to start after 2016. But leasing helicopters is one way for operators to manage their fleets during slumps.

“A manufacturer has told me, ‘I sell helicopters, you sell money’. But that’s wrong. We’re not selling money,” McGinn says. “We’re selling the ability to right-size your fleet at a specific time.”

CORRECTION: The article has been updated to correct the spelling of Steffen Bay's name.