Waypoint: super-mediums challenged by legacy S-92s

Irish lessor Waypoint has released a study that shows that used S-92s are a more competitive option for oil and gas operations than new super-medium helicopters.

The study found that the cost per seat-mile (CSM) for a used S-92 (costing $16-$20 million) is equal to or better than a new super-medium for most missions – as well as offering extra seats.

The report says: “This availability of used equipment at attractive terms — due almost entirely to the oil and gas downturn— renders the used S-92 an extremely competitive asset relative to the new-build super-mediums.”

It compares the S-92 to the Leonardo AW189, the Airbus H175 (both launched in 2014), and the upcoming Bell 525. The super-mediums were targeted at oil and gas companies looking for a cheaper and smaller alternative to the large-class helicopters. However, due to the downturn of the oil and gas market, the super-medium is losing market share to the cheaper rates of the S-92.

However, new super-mediums do offer a cost-effective alternative to new S-92s up to a radius of action of around 260 nautical miles.

There are more than 60 super-medium helicopters operating worldwide, with another 225 on order since the weight class was introduced in 2014.

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