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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (Dec. 24, 1999 – Saipan Tribune)---Under the banner of "Americopters," several helicopter operators have teamed up to form the largest commercial helicopter network in the Pacific.

Saipan will be affected by the change, as Americopters is expected to take over Macaw Helicopters' operations within several weeks.

Americopters is also active in Guam. Combined with Guam's Hansen Helicopters, a member of the Americopters network, a fleet of six airplanes and over 50 helicopters is now available for the use of the companies. This is the largest commercial helicopter fleet in the entire Pacific region.

A written statement issued by Americopters said, "Forming this large network provides the benefits of fleet flexibility. Having a coordinated presence in a number of locations will facilitate moving resources between areas depending on where the best opportunities are."

The network utilizes its "Caribou" cargo plane to transport helicopters and support equipment anywhere in the world.

Mike Cunningham, president of Macaw Helicopters, said Americopters had been planning to enter the CNMI market for about a year now.

"[I]t looks like they're ready to make that move now, and they'll be taking over Macaw's operations."

He said he does not know what developments Macaw's staff can expect once Americopters takes the reins of the operation. "That decision will be made by Americopters' Guam office," he said. "But one thing's for sure. It's been exciting to be part of this transition, which is one of the biggest events in the Pacific region's helicopter industry."

Saipan Tribune

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