A trade union official has said North Sea oil companies would face a “battle with their workforce” if they want to start using Super Puma helicopters again.
But Unite regional officer Tommy Campbell said many oil majors had already told the union that they had no plans to put their workers in the aircraft.
Mr Campbell was speaking ahead of a meeting between a delegation of union officials and Scottish Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tomorrow in Edinburgh.
Union officials claim North Sea workers have “lost all confidence” in Airbus-made Super Pumas and are adamant they should not return to commercial operations.
Super Pumas have not been used for flying workers offshore in the North Sea since one of the aircraft crashed in Norway in April 2016, killing 13 people, including Iain Stuart from Laurencekirk.
Aviation authorities in the UK and Norway lifted a flight ban on Super Pumas in July, though the aircraft cannot return to action until certain modifications have been made.
The decision was criticised by trade unionists, who said Super Pumas should remain grounded until a root cause of last year’s crash has been identified.
A recent survey by Airbus found that 62% of respondents would be unlikely to fly in a Super Puma ever again, given the choice.
In October, several MSPs backed calls from unions for a public inquiry into North Sea helicopter safety at a cross-party debate in Holyrood.
Mr Yousaf said at the time he was prepared to meet those who want an inquiry.
But Mr Yousaf said the lifting of flight restrictions was a matter for aviation regulators, not the Scottish Government.
Mr Campbell said today: “Offshore workers are determined that the North Sea should remain Puma free.
“The only way for the workers to stop the return of the Super Puma is to organise collectively by joining Unite, or one of the other trade unions in the offshore oil and gas industry.
“A strong, unionised workforce means that the oil companies will have to recognise that any comeback for the Super Puma means a battle with their workforce.
“We welcome the fact that many of the major oil and gas companies have already told us that they have no intention of using the Super Puma.
“We want to persuade the minister to support the same position.
“There should be no comeback for the Super Puma. Let’s keep the North Sea Puma free.”