Comprehensive supportMay 30, 2019
Hany Mohamed Abdoun, chairman’s consultant for contracts and insurance at Petroleum Air Services (PAS), talks to TOGY about the company’s services for the oil and gas industry and how it aims to support Egypt’s transformation into a regional energy hub. PAS provides air transportation services inside and outside Egypt using helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft for clients in oil and gas, among other industries.
What services do you deliver specifically to the oil and gas industry?
PAS is the sole helicopter and fixed-wing service provider for all local and international oil and gas companies in Egypt, both off- and onshore. The specific services delivered to the petroleum industry are to transport their personnel from our Cairo base to different oil and gas destinations using fixed-wing aircraft, and from the bases to the offshore platforms, vessels and rigs using helicopters, to support their E&P activities.
We serve these companies from different bases all around Egypt, which are in Ras Shukeir, Ras Gharib and Zeit Bay in the Red Sea; Alexandria and Port Said in the Mediterranean; and Abu Rudeis in South Sinai. The main overhaul shop for helicopters is located in Ras Badran in South Sinai and for fixed-wing in Cairo International Airport.
What main milestones did PAS achieve in 2018?
2018 was characterised by an increase in helicopter flying hours in the East Mediterranean and an increase in fixed-wing flying hours related to the commercial sector. Our helicopter division flew 19,018 hours and the fixed-wing division 11,725 hours, together totalling 32,000 trips and transporting 655,000 passengers. 2018’s total turnover reached USD 130 million.
PAS signed a co-operation protocol with the Egyptian Aviation Academy in the fields of training and marketing of aviation services, mainly for helicopter training for neighbouring countries. We also participated in the Lebanon International Oil & Gas Summit in Beirut and expect promising opportunities in that country.
We accomplished all the internal and external refurbishing of our Bombardier Dash 8 in-house in our facilities at Cairo International Airport. Last but not least, this year we celebrated the launch of our first scheduled flight to Aqaba, Jordan, on March 13, based on one weekly flight.
Could you give us an overview of your fleet and its planned expansion?
We own 36 different types of helicopters, with capacities ranging from 5 to 15 Pax; five fixed-wing Bombardier Dash 8 turboprops, with capacity of 50 Pax; and two Jet CRJ 900 Next Gen with capacity of 88 Pax. All our aircraft are equipped with the highest safety features and comfort facilities, as well as OGP requirement configurations.
We are planning to increase the helicopter fleet by two to cater to the demand of exploration activities. We will as well add the third CRJ900 and new fixed-wing jets with capacity of 120-140 passengers. This is to service the regional range, as required by our new clients and the commercial sector, and to serve the Egyptian oil and gas companies that won contracts in Oman, Basra and the KSA.
We are also in the final stage of completing a new state-of-the-art hangar at Port Said El Gamil Airport to support operation, maintenance and safety activities in the East Mediterranean. In addition, we started the architecture design to build a new hangar near Borg El Arab International Airport in Alexandria as a replacement for El Nozha hangar.
What is your strategy for 2019?
The strategy is to cover all the requirements of oil and gas companies. We are studying the addition of heavy helicopter types to our fleet to support deepwater operations. We are also looking forward to completing all of our new infrastructure projects and opening a new market in the Middle East for helicopter services, which is the Lebanese market. We have also been accredited as the first authorised service centre for Bell CSF in North Africa and the Middle East and will start this activity soon from Cairo International Airport.
Our vision is to be the leading organisation in providing state-of-the-art technology and the highest quality of aviation services, and we are working in that direction.
How is PAS aligning its activities to the national goal of transforming Egypt into a regional energy hub?
We strive to be part of the major economic restructuring and development happening now in Egypt. As such, PAS has started aligning its activities to fit in the new Egyptian economic map, which is transforming Egypt into a hub for major investments in Africa and the Middle East.
We are aligning our activities, strategic goals and objectives to the government’s new framework, which is based on a sustainable approach to create new opportunities and investments. This framework consists of the three main pillars for development: the economic, social and environmental pillars.
In the economic pillar, we are starting to apply new cost analysis principles for performance evaluation. We are efficiently using our resources and managing to improve our current operations effectively and efficiently through international quality measures.
We are also expanding our activities internationally, opening new markets and segments, which will add new opportunities and improve the company’s profits, with a direct impact on our Egyptian stakeholder, EGPC. We are also engaging young generations, merging them with the current expertise available in PAS, to encourage the transfer of experience and know-how.
As for the social pillar, we provide support through funding new projects in Egypt. We have also scheduled a low-cost flight to a remote area of Egypt, the New Valley, to encourage investors’ interest.
Last but not least, regarding the environmental pillar, we are incorporating green practices into our daily operations which are in alignment with international laws. We are raising awareness amongst our employees on the importance of applying these principles through training and on-the-job applications. We are seeking to adapt our strategies to fit into the new green economy that Egypt is pursuing.
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