Bristow Group is one of the world’s leading operators of helicopters provided for government and civil organizations worldwide, oil and gas customers needing offshore transportation, and search and rescue aircraft support. Its current fleet includes approximately 240 of the helicopter industry’s most modern aircraft, providing services in areas like Africa, the Americas, Australia, and several countries in Europe.

The Vertical Aerospace VA-X4 (Left) and EmbraerX’s Eve eVTOL (right) featured with Bristow’s signature branding.

Both Vertical Aerospace and EmbraerX have started to see more and more traction within the last year. After unveiling the VA-X4, Vertical Aerospace went public with a $2.2bn merger and formed partnerships with American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Avalan. Meanwhile, EmbraerX’s Eve division with Ascent Air Mobility for operations in the Asia-Pacific Region, and with popular urban air mobility provider BLADE Urban Air Mobility in the U.S, which currently provides urban transportation using helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft.

Now, both companies have added yet another massive pre-order set and key partner to their growing lists. Bristow Group represents a major segment of vertical air transportation the world over. Bristow has signed an MoU with Vertical Aerospace for up to 50 eVTOL aircraft, and will not only purchase these aircraft from Vertical once available, but also will also aid Vertical with regulatory certification, infrastructure, and environmental requirements for the VA-X4. With EmbraerX, Bristow placed an order for up to 100 eVTOL aircraft, and will assist Embraer with operations development, vertiport design, regulatory development, and even autonomous operations development. According to Bristol, it will use both Vertical and EmbraerX’s new aircraft to expand into new markets for the company, including a focus on commercial air taxi flight operations.

Example of Bristow’s current large helicopter fleet

Said Bristow President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Bradshaw, “Our MOU with Vertical allows us to build upon our leadership position in the vertical transportation market for the past 70+ years and now sets the stage for the disruptive advantages of the VA-X4 with its zero carbon emissions and low operating costs for passenger transport. Our expansion into these new and existing geographic markets with sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift and aerial transport services will offer passengers superior regional air mobility solutions” (September 21st, 2021).

He added, “The strategic MOU (with Eve) outlines the continued development of a comprehensive UAM model between Bristow and Eve for an eVTOL that could potentially reshape the market for all electric vertical lift with zero-emissions and lower operating costs. This allows us to expand our expertise to provide sustainable, innovative and efficient vertical lift into new potential end markets” (September 23rd, 2021)

Why it’s important: With this move, Bristow is signaling its intention to transition from traditional helicopters to all-electric eVTOLs. It has demonstrated this commitment by not only placing orders, but also by partnering with Vertical and Embraer for infrastructure and regulatory development. In addition, with this move, the company is announcing its plans to expand from its current operations into the commercial eVTOL air taxi market, thus marking itself as another key company in the playing field of eVTOL air taxi operators.

Source // Bristow Group


Posted by Benji

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