PHI, Inc. (“PHI”) (The Nasdaq Global Market: PHII (voting) PHIIK (non-voting)) -- announced today that they have entered into a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) with TAM Empreedimentos e Participações S/A. (“TEP”) to form a joint venture company that will provide helicopter transportation to the expanding Brazilian oil and gas offshore market.

PHI, founded in 1949, is seen as a world leader in the offshore helicopter transportation service sector. With over 60 years of experience in helicopter operations, PHI has amassed over 10 million flight hours in support of exploration and production companies. TEP (the Amaro family’s Holding Company) controls 46% of TAM Linhas Aéreas, South America's largest airline, today viewed as the premier airline company in the region, with routes throughout the Americas and Europe. In addition to the airline, the Amaro family owns 100% of TAM Aviação Executiva, one of the largest companies, which is focused on executive aviation in Brazil. TAM Group has more than 40 years history of providing quality air transportation and pioneered the introduction of safe charter and scheduled air service to remote regions across South America. Both companies, PHI and TAM Group, are known for delivering quality service to their customers, with safety at the forefront of all flight operations.

Mauricio Amaro, one of the shareholders of TAM Group stated, "We are pleased to enter into this LOI to develop a new company that will reflect the strong leadership and innovative management approach both companies have been known for. We look forward to working closely with the PHI team to bring a comprehensive business plan of a safe and efficient helicopter transportation company to the Brazilian offshore market."

"This partnership represents the start of a new chapter in South American offshore helicopter services. Our two companies will strive to deliver the highest level of safety and service to the offshore market. We at PHI view this as a long-term growth opportunity and look forward to working with TAM, a company that shares our core values of safety and service," said PHI Chairman/CEO, Al A. Gonsoulin.

Certain statements in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words "forecast," "anticipate," "estimate," "project," "intend," "expect," "should," "believe," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results, performance (financial or operating) or achievements to differ materially from the results, performance (financial or operating) or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include adverse weather, competition, the level of activity in the oil and gas industry (particularly in the Gulf of Mexico) and our ability to continue to grow patient transport volumes. These and other factors are more fully discussed in the Company's SEC filings under "Risk Factors."

PHI provides helicopter transportation and related services to a broad range of customers including the oil and gas industry, air medical industry and also provides third-party maintenance services to select customers. PHI Voting Common Stock and Non-Voting Common Stock are traded on The Nasdaq Global Market (symbols PHII and PHIIK).

Copyright Business Wire 2010