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Era Group Inc., one of the largest helicopter operators in the world and the longest serving helicopter transport operator in the United States, has commenced a year-long celebration of 70 years of service beginning in 1948.
Era’s founder, Carl Brady, learned to fly helicopters in Washington State where he formed Economy Pest Control. In 1948, Brady renamed his company Economy Helicopters and moved his Bell 47B helicopter to Alaska to support the U.S. Government’s mapping of the territory — the first use of a commercial helicopter in Alaska. By 1950, Brady’s Alaska-based company had moved into the petroleum support business and in 1958 merged with Rotor Aids, Inc. The first letters of Economy and Rotor Aids were combined, and the company became ERA Helicopters, Inc.
Rowan Companies, Inc. purchased Era Helicopters in 1967, and by 1970 the company was operating in the Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East and Africa. In 2004, SEACOR Holdings Inc. purchased then-named Era Aviation Inc. from Rowan to complement its existing aviation business, Tex-Air. On Feb. 1, 2013, Era Group Inc. began trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent public company following a spin-off from SEACOR.
With a current fleet of more than 130 helicopters, Era has emerged as a leader in the helicopter industry providing an array of services including offshore personnel transport, emergency air medical, search-and-rescue, firefighting, utility, VIP transport and flightseeing services. Era also provides a variety of operating lease solutions and technical fleet support to third party operators.
“As we celebrate Era’s 70-year history as a pioneer in the aviation industry, we will continue our contribution to Era’s rich legacy by focusing on the company’s mission to provide safe, efficient and reliable helicopter services,” said Chris Bradshaw, Era’s president and chief executive officer. “I want to thank all of the Era team members, both past and present, for their contributions in making Era one of the global leaders in our industry.”