Canada’s Universal Helicopters has ceased operations

On the 27th May, Canada’s Universal Helicopters, as well as its subsidiaries, ceased operations due to insolvency. The main reasons for its demise are the coronavirus and several useless and financially disastrous acquisitions. Founded in 1963 as a subsidiary of CHC Helicopter (a helicopter services company based in Richmond, Canada that works in the domains of civilian search and rescue as well as in helicopter maintenance and transportation of goods and material to oil platforms), the company was located in Goose Bay in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Recently, it acquired several companies, including Lakelse Helicopters Limited and Lakelse Air Limited. On top of this, in 2018, it took a 49% stake in California-based South Coast helicopters, which mainly specialises in aerial filming and scenic flights. NASA and the US Forestry Service are amongst South Coast Helicopters biggest clients. Even though Universal Helicopters has ceased operations, this has NOT affected South Coast Helicopters. On Tuesday of last week, Universal Helicopters issued a statement that it had no choice but to cease operations due to “high levels of bank debt”, caused by its acquisition of Lakelse and its poor operating performance in 2019. Thus, a long history of vertical flight has come to an end. One can only hope that no more airlines will drop into the large black hole of bankruptcy. 2nd of June 2020.

BAD news for the helicopter industry.

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