Avincis, September 25, 2012 - The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) has awarded a new seven-year contract to Bond Air Services Ltd. Under the contract, valued at approximately £26 million, Bond will continue to provide air ambulance services cover across six counties in the West Midlands until 2019.The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity (MAAC) has awarded a new seven-year contract to Bond Air Services Ltd. Under the contract, valued at approximately £26 million, Bond will continue to provide air ambulance services cover across six counties in the West Midlands until 2019.
Bond will support the contract for three Eurocopter EC135T2i helicopters on a 365 day per year basis, drawing on its experience of air ambulance operations, including night HEMS. The service also includes the provision of back-up support to ensure the highest levels of service availability.
In the near future, MAAC intends to upgrade one of the existing aircraft to a night vision-equipped EC135T2e aircraft, to extend night flying to include the capability for full night HEMS operations.
Bond Air Services is the incumbent operator of air ambulance services in the Midlands, and this contract renewal builds on the existing 21-year relationship between Bond and Midlands Air Ambulance, one of the largest and busiest air ambulance services in England and Wales.
Hanna Sebright, Chief Executive of Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, commented: "We are extremely pleased with the decision to continue our long-standing relationship with Bond Air Services and look forward to the introduction of our new EC135T2e aircraft. The night flying capability of this aircraft is particularly exciting, allowing us to extend the service we currently offer".
Chris Greenhill, Managing Director of Bond Air Services, said: "We are delighted with this significant contract award, which underpins the longstanding relationship that we have enjoyed with both the Charity and Ambulance Service since operations began in 1991. We look forward to working with MAAC to develop fully the potential for night operations in the region."
Midlands Air Ambulance serves the largest air ambulance region in the UK. This includes the communities of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire, representing a population in excess of 6 million.
The first Midlands air ambulance helicopter was a Bolkow 105, based in Hagley Hall in Worcestershire. A second BO105 was added in 1998, and a third in 1999. These three aircraft were gradually upgraded to Eurocopter EC135s; the first in 2001.
Flying hours have also increased over the past two decades, with a 16 hour service in the summer and 12 hour service in the winter, seven days a week at present.
About Bond Aviation Group: Bond Aviation Group (Bond) is the UK's largest independent emergency and mission critical helicopter operator providing air ambulance helicopter services, police and marine support to offshore wind farms and lighthouses as well as mission critical, search and rescue and energy support services in the North Sea to blue chip oil companies. With a fleet of over forty-three aircraft and operations accumulating more than 106,000 flight hours across the globe the group benefits from an international presence and a commercially strong and financially stable parent company. Bond currently operates from bases in the UK and Australia, employing 543 people and with a turnover of £137m (annualised) in 2011.