Perks of Doing Business in Louisiana

It’s been a tough, cold and long, long, long winter in Montreal this year. Needless to say it was a welcome trip to fly to Louisiana to see my friends at the major helicopter operators in the Gulf of Mexico. In meetings with Bristow, PHI and ERA I was privileged to get an overview of how operations have improved with a stabilizing oil price at the 65$+/barrel level, from 40$/barrel two years ago. Seems like volatility is out of the air somewhat. Moreover, I was told that more efforts are being put into diversifying operations and revenue to soften the blow of future dips. One example of geographic diversification is PHI’s recent acquisition of HNZ from CHL. It is also public knowledge that EMS is another axis of diversification.

My four ideas that could help oil & gas helicopter operators:

1. Sharing risk of operations with maintainers / OEMs:

a. Leasing options on complete aircraft, components or engines with shared risk clauses (adjusted rates and operating hours related to oil prices)

b. Hourly maintenance plans with no minimal flight hours and options to “borrow back” accrued maintenance funds to help with operating cashflow

2. Continued diversification with alternate uses and geography (probably easier said than done…)

3. Upgrade rather than replace fleet policies (requires customer education / incentives)

a. Improved safety and performance through STCs

b. Better amortization of assets

c. Better/larger common used parts market, and MRO network

d. Less OEM dependency

4. Fleet simplification (requires customer education / incentives)

After my meets with operators I also got to meet great teams at Arrow Aviation and PHP. Maintenance and distribution are alive and well. In good part, as a result of the majors stabilizing. Over my trips there I noticed that Lafayette in general is quite an integrated economy. Neighbours sway together according to the Price of oil and Wins by the LSU Tigers and the UL Ragin Cajuns!

So between the ongoing businesses and delightful conversation with the professionals I knew, I got to meet new teams and benefit from the more than welcome heat and sunshine that is so familiar to the great State of Louisiana and its warm people. In closing, I would also highly recommend the Café’ Vermilionville in the heart of Lafayette. It serves up a fine local cuisine, of which you need to taste the slightly spicy turtle soup and the creamy coco snapper. The owners truly reflect the charm and heritage of the area and the historic building they own and manage with distinction. In sum, it was a great trip to an improving market, coupled with a warm taste of Louisiana.

Toby Gauld

Optima Aero Provides Long Term Engine Lease To UI Helicopter

Optima Aero Provides Long Term Engine Lease to UI Helicopter & South Korea Forestry Service

January 3rd 2018. Optima Aero inc and UI helicopter CO Ltd have entered into a long term agreement in which Optima Aero will lease PT6T-3B engines to UI Helicopters CO Ltd in the context of a long term contract with South Korean Forestry Services to support Bell 412.

This new long term engine leasing service by Optima Aero, allows operators to avoid large capital investments related to engine overhauls while benefiting from reasonably priced expensed payments over a 3 to 5 year period. The program also includes the full coverage of Optima Aero’s Optimal Power Support, an industry leading hourly maintenance program. The engines were overhauled by Mint Turbines LLC and had exceptional performance on test.

“Optima Aero tailored an advantageous long term lease offering that enabled UI Helicopter to adjust to customer requirements. Once the service concept agreed, Optima Aero also delivered the engines quickly”

– Jaeyeon Hwang, Production Director at UI Helicopters

To read the complete press release on Vertical Magazine, click here.


It is almost that time of the year again! HAI Heli-Expo 2018 waits around the corner and at Optima Aero we are looking forward to the event more than ever.

Since the last event in Dallas, we have successfully increased our reach to South-east Asia and Africa, providing solutions for more customers than ever. Also, ever growing inventory for more recent engine models, such PT6C-67C and PW206/207 series engines, allows us to meet our customers’ evolving requirements.

We look forward to welcoming each one of you at our booth in Las Vegas! Get to know us or reconnect, we look forward to hearing your story.

Off to New Horizons

In an effort to develop existing relationships and increase support for the local helicopter industry, Optima Aero is taking part in the Government of Quebec’s Trade Mission to Israel and West Bank May, 19-25.

Accompanying the Prime Minister of Quebec, Mr. Philippe Couillard, the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, Ms. Dominique Anglade and several other companies from the province has proven in the past to be a great means by which to establish new relationships and develop innovative ideas.

If you are interested in meeting us during our visit, please give us a call or write to us!

HAI Heli-Expo 2017 – Dallas

Come and visit us at booth #2600!

Being a first time exhibitor HAI Heli-Expo this year in Dallas, Optima Aero is proud to share this milestone with its clients and partners.

In 2017, Optima Aero offers you the same industry renown expertise and commitment to its clients, but with an all new company branding and an evolved service portfolio featuring new and industry exclusive asset management solutions. In short: we are ready for your challenges!

We warmly invite you to come and stop by our booth and discover Optima Aero. See you in Dallas!

Why Optima Aero?

Optima Aero is your reliable partner for Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T, PT6B, PT6C and PW200 engines and the leading provider of innovative engine asset management solutions to help operators achieve the Optimal Balance between cost control, capital efficiency and mission readiness.

  • • Innovative solutions customized to your needs
  • • Best-in-class product knowledge and asset management capabilities
  • • Large inventory of overhauled parts
  • • Extensive industry supplier network, including volume rebates and embodiment discounts

< Go to maintenance & financing solutions