Dutch operator to focus on oil and gas businesses in bid to return to profitability

Netherlands offshore helicopter operator Schreiner Aviation Group is to upgrade its mid-size helicopter fleet this year as it sheds non-core businesses in an effort to return to profitability. The company pledges to invest up to €13 million ($14.9 million) annually on new aircraft over the next five years.

Schreiner chief executive Hein Verloop says the company will by September have added four mid-range helicopters to its fleet, which will be used for offshore crew transport. The company, based in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam, took delivery earlier this year of two Eurocopter SA365N3 Dauphins and has options on a further two of the type. Verloop says, however, that while the Dauphin offers fleet commonality, the newly certificated Bell/Agusta AB139 would be "ideal" for its operations. The company is also evaluating the Sikorsky S-76C+, Verloop adds.

Schreiner recently sold its fixed-wing charter operation and its Brussels cargo base. The company is halfway through streamlining its operation to focus on oil/gas-related business aviation activities, says Verloop (Flight International, 18-24 June 2002). Schreiner aims to achieve around 8% year-on-year growth, mainly through expansion of West African operations.

Verloop says Schreiner's recovery plan is working, despite a €434,000 loss last year. The "bottom line is not important", he says, pointing to an operating profit of €2.7 million last year compared with an operating loss of €31.7 million a year earlier. The group made a net profit of €92 million in 2001, of which €80 million came from the sale of its simulators division to CAE Training.

Source: Flight International