CHC Helicopter Corporation
TSX : FLY.A
TSX : FLY.B
NYSE : FLI

CHC Helicopter Corporation

November 01, 2007 17:00 ET

CHC Orders Additional Sikorsky S-92 and AgustaWestland AW139 Helicopters, Enters Into Agreements for Corresponding MRO Capabilities and Agrees to Additional $225M USD Lease Finance Facility

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Nov. 1, 2007) - CHC Helicopter Corporation ("CHC") (TSX:FLY.A)(TSX:FLY.B)(NYSE:FLI) announced today that its worldwide helicopter support division, Heli-One, has entered into new purchase contracts for delivery of 12 Sikorsky S-92 helicopters with a subsidiary of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation ("Sikorsky"), and, 13 AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters with Agusta S.p.A ("Agusta"). These purchases support CHC's commitment to acquiring new technology aircraft and are part of CHC's fleet renewal plan to meet the demands of its global customers.

The first S-92 helicopter from this order is expected to be delivered to CHC in June 2009 with deliveries continuing through March 2012. The first AW139 helicopter from this order is expected to be delivered to CHC later this year, with deliveries continuing through late 2011.

CHC has already acquired 16 S-92 and eight AW139 helicopters under previous orders.

Including the 12 S-92 helicopters from this order, essentially all of CHC's heavy helicopter orders to be delivered in fiscal 2008 are committed to customer contracts, with approximately 55% of heavy helicopter orders committed on contract for all years. Including the 13 AW139 helicopters in this new order, approximately 85% of CHC's medium helicopter orders to be delivered in fiscal 2008 are committed to customer contracts, with approximately 45% of medium helicopter orders committed on contract for all years.

Concurrent with these purchase contracts, Heli-One has entered into:

- an agreement with Sikorsky to complete post-delivery modifications on S-76 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC and third parties;

- an agreement with a subsidiary of Sikorsky to provide overhaul and repair services for the main, tail and intermediate rotor transmissions of S-92 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC; and

- an agreement with Agusta to complete post-delivery modifications on AW139 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC.

It is also expected that Heli-One, upon meeting certain terms and conditions, will enter into:

- an agreement with Sikorsky to complete post-delivery modifications on Sikorsky S-92 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC and third parties;

- an agreement with a subsidiary of Sikorsky to perform repair, overhaul and warranty services on certain S-92 helicopter components for third parties;

- an agreement with GE Aviation to perform repair and overhauls of CT7-8A engines (fitted on the S-92 helicopter) that are owned and/or operated by CHC;

- an agreement with Agusta to overhaul the main and tail rotor transmissions and provide maintenance and parts support services for AW139 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC and third parties; and

- an agreement with Pratt & Whitney to perform repair and overhaul on PT6C-67C engines (fitted on the AW139 helicopter) that are owned and/or operated by CHC.

As a result of these agreements, Heli-One will exit from power-by-the-hour (PBH) support agreements with these Original Equipment Manufacturers ("OEMs") on the S-92 and AW139 helicopters owned and/or operated by CHC.

With the addition of these new maintenance, repair and overhaul ("MRO") capabilities, Heli-One will have the ability to support all the newly introduced aircraft types, including the Eurocopter EC225 helicopter, the Sikorsky S-76 and S-92 helicopters and the AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter.

In addition, independent of the purchase contracts and new MRO capabilities, CHC, the Royal Bank of Scotland ("RBS") and Export Development Canada ("EDC") have reached commercial agreement and are completing final documentation to expand an existing CHC/RBS lease facility by US$225 million. This provides CHC with the ability to lease finance a variety of different aircraft types flying in multiple jurisdictions around the world. This lease facility is available for funding until at least April 2009. When this agreement is finalized, the additional US$225 million capacity combined with other existing financing capacity will provide CHC with total credit-approved aircraft-specific financing facilities of approximately US$390 million.

About CHC

CHC is the world's largest provider of helicopter services to the global offshore oil and gas industry, with aircraft operating in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements in this press release contain projections and other forward-looking statements involving known and unknown risks and uncertainties which may cause our performance to be materially different from that implied. The words "anticipates", "believes,", "budgets, "could", "estimates", "expects, "forecasts", "intends", "may", might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, but are not limited to, statements about Heli-One's ability to conclude certain agreements with Agusta, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky to enhance its MRO capabilities. With respect to the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, Heli-One has made numerous assumptions, regarding among other things: the ability of Heli-One to meet and continue to meet certain terms and conditions established by Agusta, GE Aviation, Pratt & Whitney and Sikorsky; the ability of Heli-One to acquire certain inventory and in-house capabilities to support AW139 helicopters, S92 helicopters, CT7-8A engines and PT6C-67C engines that are owned and/or operated by CHC; the ability of Heli-One to comply with the regulations and standards of the applicable aviation and governmental authorities; and the ability of Heli-One to complete its new MRO facility at Boundary Bay (near Vancouver, B.C.) on schedule. While these projections and other statements represent our best current judgment, they may involve additional risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, factors detailed in CHC's Annual Report on Form 20-F and in other filings with the United States SEC and the Canadian securities regulatory authorities. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, CHC disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

If you wish to be added to CHC's news distribution list, please visit http://www.chc.ca/investor_materialrequest.php

Contact Information

  • CHC Helicopter Corporation
    Rick Davis
    Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    (604) 279-2471 or (778) 999-0314