As 2021 draws to a close, Thomas Hütsch, NHV Group’s new CEO and the Executive Committee reflect on 2021, a year that turned out very differently than anyone could have imagined.
NHV Group take pride in the fact that when the pandemic brought the world to a halt and forced everyone to keep a distance from family, friends, and one another - true to nature, we adapted and created helpful and flexible solutions to benefit employees, clients, and the wider offshore market.
NHV Group’s North Sea bases assembled a fleet of helicopters – COVID-Copters, for emergency repatriation flights of offshore staff, as a response to the coronavirus crisis. We also added COVID-secure separation screens in all aircraft and NHV teams also managed to adapt to effective home working, whenever it was possible.
However, despite the disruptions that NHV faced in 2021, we also experienced some great opportunities.
NHV successfully launched a new base in Cork Ireland to perform flights on behalf of Kinsale Energy, in support of its decommissioning operations in the Celtic Sea. NHV AS, NHV’s Danish branch, operated the contract, which started in April and was completed in Dec 2021. Our fast and flexible approach to establishment of a fully operational base in Cork within only a month, demonstrates our operational attitude to opportunities.
NHV also won the contract to provide Bundeswehr, the German Army, a contract for the maintenance and lease of 3X H145 aircraft in Laupheim, Germany. The German Army flies our aircraft using their pilots in a contract that commenced in Jan 2021, with a tender extension expected in the New Year. Other commercial successes include the award of a contract extension with clients CNR in our West Africa base in Côte d'Ivoire.
Praise must also be given to the NHV team in Blackpool and those responsible for winning and setting up the brand-new long-term contract with Spirit Energy and ENI, to provide passenger transfer services in support of their East Irish Sea operations. These operations started at the end of 2020, using the latest-generation 4.6/4.8 tonnes twin-turbine AW169 helicopter to support the service.
Our UK Flight Operations Manager, Chris Cooper set up an exchange programme with the Hong Kong Government Flying Services during 2021, which allowed a team of H175 pilots from Hong Kong to come to our base in Aberdeen and get experience of flying the H175 in the offshore North Sea environment, earning NHV the accolade of being a ‘Centre for Excellence for the H175’.
NHV is dedicated to further developing the strengths and potential of the H175, and as the global launching customer of this aircraft type back in 2014, NHV are now on track to achieve the milestone of 68,000 flying hours by end 2021 – a whopping 70% of worldwide accumulated flying hours.
NHV’s action plan for 2022, will future proof the business through consolidation and the strengthening of our business at existing bases. We will focus on profitability with plans to improve existing contracts and activities. Alongside Oil and Gas, we also aim to become market leaders in offshore wind maintenance and repair operations and to focus more closely on niche activities such as our Training Centres, where we operate EASA and CAA approved pilot training, Part 147 maintenance training.
To conclude, despite the changes and challenges brought by 2021, we are confident in current position as we follow our strategy to consolidate operations and grow new markets.
We would like to thank all our staff for their continued hard work over this past year and thank our clients and customers for their commitment to NHV. Our combined strength has been the deciding factor in making 2021 a successful year.
Season’s Greetings to Everyone from the NHV Group!
We Hope that 2022 Will Bring Health, Happiness and Prosperity!
NHV Group, headquartered in Oostende (Belgium), is specialized in B-to-B helicopter services and has a strong geographic presence in Europe and Western Africa. The group conducts operations out of several bases on 2 continents with a team of about 600 employees. NHV’s main focus is on the energy producing sector. The Group has a leading position in Europe as the only helicopter operator that conducts operations in every oil producing country in the region. The scope of work also includes Maritime Services comprising Search and Rescue (SAR), Offshore Wind Farms, Training, MRO and Harbour Pilot Services. Vertech Offshore and Airlift are two specialised organisations within the NHV group who are market leaders in flare tip replacement and power grid construction and maintenance. Aside from helicopter operations, NHV is also an Approved Pilot Training (ATO) and Maintenance Training (P147) organisation. In addition to supporting its own fleet, NHV provides extensive third-party maintenance services to a variety of civil and military clients. The group operates a multipurpose, high value fleet of more than 50 helicopters. NHV’s majority shareholder is Ardian, the world-leading private investment house with assets of around US$120bn, managed or advised in Europe, the Americas and Asia.
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