The contract which is for three years plus a potential two-year extension, calls for Bestfly to take the oil company workers from the Angola capital Luanda to the ExxonMobil base for its offshore operations in Soyo, some 200 miles away on the mouth of the Congo River.
Bestfly chief executive, Nuno Pereira said, “We faced tough local and international competition to win this tender after very detailed audits by ExxonMobil.”
Bestfly will utilise one of its ATR 72-600 turboprops, which can carry 70 passengers for the 45-minute flight, four times a week. “The ATR is ideal for this mission,” said Pereira. “We have already been serving all of the international oil and gas companies with their repatriation plans during the Covid-19 outbreak and we have had our whole fleet available to give support to get people home.”
Bestfly has a fleet of 21 aircraft ranging from AW139 helicopters to Gulfstream business jets. The company’s two ATR 72-600s were ordered at the 2019 Paris Air Show and entered service in Angola in January 2020. “Oil and gas business is the reason we selected the ATR in the first place,” said Pereira. As well as delivering the corporate shuttle flights, Bestfly will be using the aircraft to support mining operations in Angola.
The latest contract award follows an extension to an agreement for Bestfly to provide medical evacuation (medevac) flight support to offshore platforms. The pooled service sees Bestfly provide an AW139 helicopter for ExxonMobil “We have been audited by the oil industry and passed without any safety concerns,” Pereira said. The medevac contract is also for three years with an option for two further years.
“We are really excited by these contracts,” Pereira said. “I am very proud of our whole Bestfly team, from our people who work in handling and dispatch on the rigs through to the employees at our FBO. We have not stopped in our support during the Covid-19 outbreak and I am very proud of the way everyone responded. They have been amazing.”