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Cobham Aviation Services Wins New Chevron Australia Contract

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Avro RJ and BAe 146 jetliners from BAE Systems are to provide the vital air transport links to service Chevron Australia operations in the north-west of Western Australia including the offshore Gorgon project being developed by Chevron. The multi-billion dollar project to develop offshore gas fields is due to begin production in 2015.

In a multiple contract signing ceremony in Perth, Cobham Aviation Services Australia inked a A$170 million six-year contract with Chevron Australia to provide a regular shuttle service between Perth and Barrow Island to transport oil exploration workers to the massive project.

Supporting agreements were signed between BAE Systems Regional Aircraft and Cobham to lease two Avro RJ100s for this operation. In addition, a long-term lease extension was signed on a BAe 146-300 which is already operated by Cobham on the route.

The first of the two RJ100s will be delivered to Cobham in early 2010 and will be configured in a 99-seat layout, introducing new levels of comfort and amenity, as well as ample baggage space, to cater to the needs of passengers travelling to and from Barrow Island. The second RJ100 is due in 2011. Eventually Cobham will dedicate a fleet of five jets to the contract – two RJ100s and three BAe 146s.

These significant contracts, underscore the importance played by the BAe 146 and now Avro RJ family in servicing Australia’s huge mining and resource sector. Day-in, day-out, for the past 18 years, BAe 146s operated by Cobham have been flown on demanding schedules, in the searing heat of Western and Southern Australia to provide the reliable transport links into remote airfields to keep exploration and extraction activities running smoothly.

Peter Nottage, Chief Executive Officer of Cobham Aviation Services Australia said, “With their low operating costs our fleet of BAe 146s have proved their value and versatility. The newer Avro RJ100s represent a technology upgrade for Cobham. We believe this aircraft will prove a winner for our clients and for the passengers who will come to rely on it and it will be just as successful as the BAe 146.”

Stewart Cordner, Vice President of BAE Systems Asset Management added, “Since our first aircraft deal with Cobham in the early 1990s, we have over the years enjoyed a strong business relationship and have secured scores of leases, lease extensions and aircraft sales. In the process Cobham has grown to become one of the most experienced BAe 146/Avro RJ operators in the world. Their attention to customer service for the most demanding of clients makes them a fantastic ambassador for our aircraft.”

Cobham Aviation Services Australia has become one of the largest air transport providers in Australia servicing the mining and resources sector. Cobham operates more than 7,500 flights annually in Australia and Papua New Guinea, carrying some 130,000 passengers a year.

In addition to Chevron, Cobham’s resource sector clients include Rio Tinto, Leighton Holdings and Australian petroleum group Santos.

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