Babcock helicopters took their first flight out of Shetland on Wednesday following a new five-year shared contract with three oil and gas operators.
The new deal, announced in March, will see Babcock conduct more than 100 flights a month to North Sea assets on behalf of EnQuest, Taqa and CNR International.
Offshore passengers will now fly from Aberdeen to Sumburgh on a Loganair ATR 42 aircraft, before taking the final leg by offshore helicopter.
The first flight of 38 passengers left Aberdeen International Airport on a Loganair aircraft arriving at Sumburgh on Wednesday, where they transferred to Babcock S-92 helicopters.
One helicopter flew 19 passengers to CNR’s Ninian Southern platform, while another carried 19 passengers to Taqa’s Cormorant Alpha and Tern platforms.
Babcock offshore director, Ian Cooke, said: “Today’s first flight marks a significant moment for us as we embark on a new relationship with an important new customer group.
“We are basing aircraft in Sumburgh full-time to serve this contract and will also be investing in facilities there and in Aberdeen.
“We pride ourselves on operating to the highest levels of safety and I’m looking forward to Babcock delivering a safe and efficient aviation service to support our customer’s operations in Shetland.”
In March, the closure of Scasta Airport on Shetland saw the agreement of a new Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) contract awarded to a consortium including Babcock and Loganair.
The firms now operate oil and gas flights out of Sumburgh Airport.
Loganair director of charter services, Fiona MacLeod, said: “This is a significant contract win for us, strengthening our oil and gas commitment – in a sector where we have considerable long-term experience.
“In partnership with Babcock, we will be providing vital links for three major North Sea companies.
“We have dedicated two of our 49-seat ATR-42 turboprops to the service, a type newly introduced to the Loganair fleet, of which we have five in total.”