Shell has abandoned plans to sign a multi-million pound contract with Bond Offshore Helicopters only weeks after one of its aircraft ditched in the North Sea.
It is reported that the oil giant has pulled out of a deal with Bond to take over its UK flights as it did not have “sufficient assurances” of the safety of Bond’s operations.
Earlier this month one of Bond’s Super Pumas made an emergency landing in the North Sea around 28 miles from Aberdeen.
Two crew and 12 passengers were rescued in the third serious incident involving a Bond Super Puma in three years.
A spokeswoman for Shell said: "Whilst we make no prejudgement of the outcome of the investigation into the recent ditching incident, we are not able to achieve sufficient assurances on Bond's operations in the timeline required for them to continue in the current review.”
Jake Molloy, regional organiser for the RMT union, said safety representatives on several Shell platforms had raised concerns about the proposed deal with Bond.
He added: “The bulk of their concerns have been about general safety.”
It was announced on Monday that Bond’s managing director Bill Munro was stepping aside and would be replaced by Malcolm Paine.
Richard Mintern was also made chief executive officer at parent company Bond Aviation Group as part of a “shake up” of the firm’s hierarchy.
A Bond spokesman insisted Shell would still consider the company for future contracts.
He 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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