East African helicopter operator Everett Aviation has been awarded a major contract to provide medical evacuation services to the UK Ministry of Defence’s British Army Training Unit in Kenya (Batuk).
The value of the reportedly fiercely contested tender to the firm regionally known for oil and gas logistics services was not disclosed.
The contract for the service, technically known as medevac, will run for three years, with an extension option for a fourth year.
The firm said in a statement that at peak periods the contract will engage three of its BK117 helicopters in medevac configuration.
“As a regional operator, we are absolutely delighted to have secured this significant contract in the face of serious competition from large international players,” said Everett Aviation founder and chief executive officer Simon Everett.
“We have supported the British Army for a number of years and we look forward to building an ever-stronger relationship as we serve them over the coming months and years. As a Kenyan company, we are equally pleased that this contract will enable us to maintain our commitment to local content and employment, which has always been of paramount importance to our company.”
He said Everett had established a new operating base in Nanyuki to support the Batuk mission. Operations commenced on December 1.
The firm was established in 1996 and provides aviation services in East Africa. It serves international clients from the energy sector and other government and commercial organisations with specialist aviation needs.
It specialises in providing offshore and onshore crew transportation, search and rescue, medevac, aerial survey and VIP transportation.
The firm said it recently invested in equipment to protect helicopters from missile and ballistic threats when operating humanitarian missions in troubled regions and fleet upgrades to cater for East Africa’s developing energy sector.
Equipping its planes with anti-missile systems has helped the firm secure UN contracts.
Mr Everett said in 2015 the firm carried 6,105 passengers and conducted 672 offshore oil and gas flights from its new hangar facility in Dar es Salaam. Everett Aviation started business operating a single AS350 in Kenya in 1996.
The firm has operations in Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique.
Apart from offshore oil and gas support work, the company has onshore interests, conducting mining support work in West Africa and the Congo.