Shell drops Bond Helicopters contract plans

Bond helicopter Bond temporarily suspended helicopter flights after one of its Super Pumas ditched in the North Sea

Oil giant Shell has abandoned plans to sign a major contract with Bond Offshore Helicopters, BBC Scotland has learned.

The oil firm said it was not able to achieve sufficient assurance about Bond's operations.

Shell is conducting an ongoing review of its helicopter services contract across its North Sea operations.

Meanwhile, both BP and Maersk said they retained confidence in Bond.

Bond temporarily suspended helicopter flights after one of its Super Pumas ditched in the North Sea.

All 14 passengers and crew involved in the incident on 10 May were rescued.

Its fleet of 10 helicopters returned to service, following engineering analysis and safety risk assessment.

The RMT union claimed safety representatives onboard several Shell platforms raised concerns about a deal with Bond.

Shell said it would continue to use Bristow Helicopters in the interim.

Earlier this week, the managing director of Bond Offshore Helicopters announced he was stepping down, as a review of operations was launched.

A spokesman for the company said: "We met with Shell and are working with them to address their concerns.

"They explained to us that as there is so little time left in the bid process that we needed more time than is available.

"Shell made clear to Bond that they want and encourage us to bid for future tenders and we look forward to doing so."

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