Enrique Zepeda
Director General and CEO
Transportes Aéreos Pegaso
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View from the Top

Reactivating Air Traffic to Offshore Sites

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 17:18

Q: How did your business perform in Mexico’s offshore sector during 2019?

A: We have definitely seen business grow. Our flight hours have increased, although we are still far away from the activity we experienced in 2014. We remain at 50 percent of our 2014 operational volume. However, this increase when compared to 2018 is quite substantial. Throughout this time, we have continued to stimulate growth as much as possible. We established our company’s offices within the Toluca airport in 2017 and inaugurated them a year later. Part of the industry conditions that motivated this particular investment were the reduced flight hours to offshore worksites. To compensate, we invested in a new line of business, which is executive aviation, and the building of these Toluca facilities were part of that investment. With that being said, oil and gas helicopter transportation continues to be our most active segment by a large margin. Our central hub in Toluca allows us to attract interesting additional opportunities, considering the cancelation of NAIM.

Q: What benefits have you obtained by having offices in various airports, aside from the Toluca airport?

A: We need to consider that having offices in these airports has been at a cost, especially in recent years. However, these expenses were considered from the beginning in anticipation of a higher influx of foreign oil companies and we understood that these investments were necessary. Maintaining our presence at various airports was a crucial part of that preparation, and now we are seeing results. We also made sure our pilots and crew improved their technical skills in order to compete with foreign helicopter service providers that will soon be operating in Mexico. We now are on par with the operational standards of any foreign helicopter service provider and our continued presence in airport hubs and in airports located along the Gulf of Mexico on Mexico’s coast has allowed us to reduce our response times significantly.

Q: How have you managed your approach to the new oil companies such as Fieldwood and Eni?

A: They all go through a similar process of hiring inhouse or external aviation experts and consultants that audit companies such as ours. We have successfully passed all of these audits, and as a result we have many certifications. Our fleet has remained current, with new models acquired every year, and this has helped us to meet oil companies’ standards of aircraft. Most foreign operators give Mexican service providers like us a chance to participate in their activities.

Q: To what degree do your services now compete with other offshore transportation modalities, such as FSVs and PSVs?

A: The specific characteristics of the fields we service have kept us out of competing with these types of services. We are in a category of our own. Some fields that are close enough to shore will always be reserved for sea-based transportation, but other fields are simply too far away to make this an effective or efficient option.

Operators understand that personnel who have been working in difficult waters for six or seven hours immediately prior to their arrival will be in no condition to work right away, so to the expense incurred in NPT from those six to seven hours of transportation, you have to add the additional time during which your personnel need to rest. In times of extreme efficiency, these types of operational gaps are no longer acceptable. This is why helicopters will always have a guaranteed cut of the offshore oil and gas transportation market. Aside from the fact that deepwater worksites require helicopter transportation, transporting personnel on vessels is just completely unfeasible because the distances are too long and the conditions extremely difficult. Our future competition continues to be foreign helicopter service providers.

 

Transportes Aéreos Pegaso has offered executive air transport services since 1981. In 1983, it won its first PEMEX contract to shuttle passengers and cargo to platforms on the Gulf of Mexico. It has completed more than 1.1 million flight operations.