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Universal Helicopters

Universal Helicopters Group
Founded1963
Ceased operations2020
AOC #18146[1]
Operating basesHappy Valley-Goose Bay, St. John's, Pasadena, Gander, Lakelse Air Bases in Terrace, Dease Lake, Prince Rupert, Hazelton
Fleet size21,[2] 35[3]
HeadquartersSt. John's, Newfoundland
Key peopleShane Cyr, President and COO
Websitehttp://www.uhgroup.ca/

Universal Helicopters was a commercial helicopter company located in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.[4] While operating primarily in Newfoundland and Labrador with operations sometimes extending into the Ungava Peninsula and the Arctic, Universal Helicopters held an International Operating Certificate and completed several contracts in Greenland.[4]

History

The company started operations in 1963 and was a subsidiary of Okanagan Helicopters.[5] It was last owned by a partnership of companies formed by Nunatsiavut Group of Companies, Tasiujatsoak Trust and CAPE Fund.[6]

On September 10, 2018, the company announced it had finalized the purchase of Lakelse Air,[7] as part of plan to double their revenue. Based in Northwest British Columbia, Lakelse Air had been seen as a strategic purchase to build and strengthen Indigenous relations across Canada for future job prospects. Shortly after acquiring Lakelse Air, Universal Helicopters began shifting its focus to work internationally and overseas. Pushing for Global growth along with their September 6, 2018 investment in South Coast Helicopters[8] proved to be unsustainable, leading to their eventual financial difficulty.

The company announced its sudden closure due to financial insolvency on May 27, 2020.[9]

Bases

Universal Helicopters corporate head office, main stores and accounting services were situated in Goose Bay, Labrador with other bases situated at St. John's, Pasadena and Gander. Each location had permanent base personnel and hangar support facilities for year-round operations and maintenance.[4]

Fleet

Universal Helicopters had the following aircraft registered with Transport Canada:[2][3]

An Enstrom F-28F used by Universal Helicopters for training, 1988
Aircraft No. of aircraft Variants Notes
Aerospatiale AS350 5 AS350B, AS350 B2, AS350 B3, AS350 BA Listed at Universal as Airbus
Bell 206 10 LongRanger Nine Bell 206L LongRanger and one Bell 206L-4 LongRanger IV
Bell 212 1 Bell 212 Not listed at the Universal site
Bell 407 5 -

The Transport Canada list also shows that they once had a Bell 407.[10]

Customer reception

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador had had extensive contracts with the company, using them for medical evacuation, clinic support, forest fire surveillance and suppression, aerial searching, survey and mapping and personnel transport.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Transport Canada (2019-09-08), Civil Aviation Services (CAS) AOC. wwwapps.tc.gc.ca.
  2. ^ a b "Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Quick Search Result for Universal Helicopters". Transport Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Profile
  4. ^ a b c Universal Helicopters (2003). "Universal Helicopters Profile". Retrieved January 24, 2009.
  5. ^ Endres, Gunter G (1982). World Airline Fleets 1983. Feltham: Aviation Data Centre. p. 66. ISBN 0946141029.
  6. ^ "Universal Helicopters Signs Agreement with Nunatsiavut Group Of Companies". uhnl.nf.ca. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  7. ^ "Universal Helicopters announces purchase of Lakelse Air". Skies Mag (Press release). Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  8. ^ "Universal Helicopters invests in U.S. company". Skies Mag (Press release). Retrieved June 19, 2020.
  9. ^ CBC News (May 27, 2020). "Universal Helicopters shuts down after almost 60 years in N.L." cbc.ca. Archived from the original on May 27, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  10. ^ Canadian Civil Aircraft Register: Aircraft Details C-FMEL
  11. ^ Salter, Dave (March 2006). "Government extends contract with Universal Helicopters Newfoundland Limited". Retrieved January 13, 2009.


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Universal Helicopters
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