Maui-Based Blue Hawaiian Helicopters in Acquisition

December 16, 2013, 10:38 AM HST · Updated December 16, 11:03 AM
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Blue Hawaiian helicopter, file photo by Wendy Osher. The photo above is not from the crash site.

Blue Hawaiian helicopter. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The sale of Maui-based Blue Hawaiian Helicopters to Colorado-based Air Methods Corporation has closed for an undisclosed price.

Executives with Air Methods, described as the largest provider of air medical transport services in the US, announced the acquisition in a press release today.

“The addition of Blue Hawaiian significantly strengthens Air Methods’ Tourism Division and continues our focus on vertical integration and the search for key aviation adjacencies to our core business,” said Air Methods CEO Aaron Todd in a statement.

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Blue Hawaiian’s CEO, David Chevalier also released a statement saying, “Blue Hawaiian is the dominant force in the strong Hawaiian air tour market. The efficiency and synergies between Air Methods and its existing tour operator, Sundance Helicopters, will benefit the core strength of Blue Hawaiian and the entire group.”

“Air Methods’ fleet of owned, leased or maintained aircraft features over 400 helicopters and fixed wing aircraft,” the announcement said.

According to company information, Blue Hawaiian was founded in 1985, and has grown to include a fleet of 24 helicopters with a portfolio that consists of 12 scheduled tours on five islands.

In fall 2012, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters was voted “Hawaii’s Best,” in HAWAII Magazine’s reader’s choice awards in the category of Helicopter Tour Company. The company website also notes that Blue Hawaiian was the first  helicopter tour company to receive certification in the Platinum Program of Safety through the Helicopter Association International.

The company has earned repeat accolades from the FAA, and in 2007 its maintenance department was honored for a 10th consecutive year with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Certificate of Excellence – “Diamond Award,” according to the Blue Hawaiian Helicopters website.

On a somber note, five people aboard a Blue Hawaiian Helicopter were killed when the craft crashed into a mountain ridge in Pūkoʻo on the east end of Molokai on Nov. 10, 2011. According to a preliminary report filed by the National Transportation Safety Board, “several witnesses reported that the accident occurred between rain squalls and one reported that it occurred during a heavy rain squall.” A final report has yet to be filed by the agency.

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