(A Columbia 107)
Huge shock to the helicopter world
Bristow helicopters have acquired Columbia helicopters for 560 Million dollars. Columbia, based in Aurora, Oregon, was founded in 1957 by industry pioneer Wes Lematta, and has seen global success by specializing in providing heavy lift services, primarily to U.S. military and government customers, with its fleet of 21 Vertol 107s and CH-234/CH-47D Chinooks. It has 860 employees.
Columbia will continue to operate as a separate subsidiary with its own board and operational and management structure, will retain the Columbia name, and its aircraft will keep the distinctive Columbia livery.
Bristow hopes to be able to leverage Columbia’s expertise, contacts, and its U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) certificate, which allows it to perform outsourced military transport operations and to find new work for Bristow’s “underutilized” offshore fleet. In particular, it hopes to find an application for many of its 22 remaining Airbus H225s, which have struggled to find work following a lack of demand for the type in the offshore sector. The company also has 44 S-76C/C++ aircraft in its fleet.