Papua New Guinea's (PNG's) two major helicopter operators plan to merge in early 1997 in an effort to combat growing international competition for their established businesses.

Hevilift and Pacific Helicopters have a combined fleet of more than 70 aircraft, ranging from Bell 206 Jet Rangers, through light and medium turbine twins, to Mil Mi-26s. The two companies provide a range of specialist services in PNG and elsewhere in South East Asia, including jungle flying, long-line lifting and seismic and geophysical helicopter operations.

Hevilift is also a joint-venture partner with Aeroflot in Singapore-based Aerolift International, which operates extensive offshore-oil, logging and power line projects in Russia. The two companies say, that recent discussions with major oil and mining companies, have confirmed client requirements to operate globally with aviation service suppliers.

Source: Flight International