The ten-year contract for three helicopters will replace existing agreement
MONTREAL: Helicopters Australia Pty Limited (HNZ), parent company of Montreal-based Canadian Helicopters Group Inc, has inked an agreement with Rio Tinto for a renewed helicopter contract. Beginning in March 2013, HNZ will replace its existing two Eurocopter EC 145 helicopters with the first of three new AgustaWestland AW109SP “GrandNew” helicopters. The helicopters will continue to provide a marine pilot transfer service to Rio Tinto’s iron ore carriers at Dampier and Cape Lambert Ports in West Australia. A third helicopter will provide more capacity for Rio Tinto’s expansion at Cape Lambert. All three helicopters will be in service by September 2013.
“We are extremely pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with Rio Tinto in Western Australia,” said Canadian Helicopters Group’s President and CEO, Don Wall. “In partnership with Rio Tinto, we have continuously sought ways to improve customer service and safety standards. This new investment in the latest technology AW109SP “GrandNew” aircraft signifies those shared commitments and we look forward to continuing to support the expansion of iron ore operations throughout Western Australia.”
The new contract is for 10 years starting in May and will replace the existing agreement scheduled to expire the same date. The three aircraft will be obtained through purchase or lease and the two existing EC145 aircraft will be redeployed or offered for sale following the introduction of the new aircraft in 2013.