Just as the active number of floating offshore energy rigs declined to their lowest level since 1987, a helicopter industry veteran has announced a new venture designed to help lenders to the offshore rotorcraft industry dispose of underutilized assets. Ed Washecka, the founder of Intrinsic Aviation, has formed a joint venture with Arena Investors to lease, trade, or part out mid- to end-of-life helicopters.
Washecka is the founder and former CEO of helicopter lessor Waypoint, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and whose assets were later acquired by Australia’s Macquarie Group. Arena specializes in investments below $50 million.
“The helicopter industry has suffered massive dislocation as a result of the prolonged oil and gas downturn, with asset prices falling dramatically for some aircraft types. In an oversupplied market, it sometimes makes more sense to scrap the helicopter and to sell the constituent parts as a means to recover any remaining value,” said Washecka.
The joint venture has initially acquired three Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopters and plans on parting out two of them and re-leasing one to an offshore operator. Sikorsky produced the S-76C++ from 2006 to 2012. Washecka said parting out provides operators with an alternative to parking and sitting on idle assets that continue to depreciate while incurring costs.