Blog: Air Greenland nixes helicopter order

 A man walks to an Eurocopter's EC225 helicopter. ( Gerard Julien / AFP)
A man walks to an Eurocopter’s EC225 helicopter. ( Gerard Julien / AFP)

Earlier this week, we looked at some stories about how the reality of drilling in the Arctic wasn’t necessarily living up to the expectations that many commentators and companies had had.

And now, according to this news release, Air Greenland is cancelling the two EC225 helicopters it had ordered from Eurocopter.

Apparently the model is well suited to the kinds of activity associated with offshore drilling operations.

But given the slowdown of offshore Arctic development in the region, there isn’t enough demand for such services, says Jens Wittrup-Willumsen, Air Greenland’s Chairman of the Board.

“EC225 helicopters are very suitable for offshore operations and the Search- And- Rescue operations, but there has not been the expected growth and development in these areas,” he said in the news release.

“Unfortunately, this is not a situation unique to Greenland. It also applies to the rest of the world market and it has not been possible for us to sell the helicopters to other parties. To prevent further loss, as a responsible board, we have unanimously decided, upon the recommendation of the Management of Air Greenland, to cancel the contract with the supplier.”

The purchase contract signed in 2011 was to a value of approx. DKK 380 million, said the news release. The exit charges are just over 4 percent, it said.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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