NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Parent company of CHC Helicopter in US court move over debts

The parent company of offshore helicopter operator CHC has taken steps in the US courts to protect itself from its creditors.

CHC Group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow it more time to restructure its finances.

The company said it had been hit by a downturn in business following the oil price crash.

However, it said it expected day-to-day operations to continue unaffected by the move.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa), said: "Representatives are currently meeting with the company in an emergency session to understand the implications of this filing in a US Court.

"It is new territory for us, and we will be engaging with our lawyers to understand what this will mean.

"Although there is no direct link, today's news coming on top of Friday's accident off Bergen will add to the concern of everyone.

"Pilots will be making sure safety is not compromised in the midst of this uncertainty.

"Today's news shows starkly that the collapse in oil and gas prices is reverberating across the world."

A CHC Super Puma was involved in Friday's crash in Norway in which 13 people died.

Among the victims was 41-year-old Iain Stuart, from Laurencekirk in Aberdeenshire, who worked for the oil field services company Halliburton.

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