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Petroleum Helicopters International

Petroleum Helicopters International, Inc. (PHI), is an American commercial helicopter operator, founded in 1949, by Robert L. Suggs.[2] The company is based in Lafayette, Louisiana and provides service for the oil and gas industry, Aeromedical services, pilot training and aircraft maintenance.[3][4]

Petroleum Helicopters Inc.
Petroleum logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Fleet size259
Parent companyPHI, Air Medical
Traded asNASDAQPHIIK (non-voting)
Russell 2000 Index component
HeadquartersLafayette, Louisiana
Key peopleAl Gonsoulin CEO[1]

On March 15, 2019, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5]

On June 5, 2019, court-supervised arbitration announced an agreement to force the retirement of CEO Al Gonsoulin and strip him of his shares. [6]


PHI Inc. was founded by Robert L. Suggs and Maurice M. Bayon with a startup cost of $100,000, and three Bell 47 helicopters. They started by providing service to a seismographic group working in the wetlands of Louisiana. The company's service extended to offshore drilling platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and grew their fleet with the addition of the Sikorsky S-55. and the Sikorsky S-58 helicopters.[7] Over the next couple of decades the company expanded their fleet to 300 helicopters, which was the biggest non-military group of aircraft.,[7][8] and constructed the world's largest heliport at Lake Palourde in Morgan City[9] In 1981 Petroleum Helicopters created PHI Air Medical, and became a provider of aeromedical services.[10]


PHI Inc. Owns or operates 259 aircraft domestically and internationally. 162 aircraft are dedicated to its Oil and Gas segment. 88 aircraft are dedicated to its Air Medical segment. They also operate five aircraft for the National Science Foundation in Antarctica.[11][12]

Small Helicopters
Aircraft Total Notes
Bell 407
Bell 206L
Bell 212
Bell 412
Eurocopter EC 135
Eurocopter EC145
Eurocopter AS350
Sikorsky S-76
Sikorsky S-92
Total Number of Aircraft 256


  1. ^ "Al A. Gonsoulin". Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  2. ^ "1998 Industry Pioneers". Retrieved April 23, 2015.
  3. ^ International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 35. St. James Press, 2001 ISBN 9781558624436.
  4. ^ Goold, Ian (May 1987). "Helicopters over a barrel". Flight International: 26.
  5. ^ "PHI Inc. - Helicopter Services Provider Files For Bankruptcy With Equityholders' Fate In Limbo". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  6. ^ "Creditors Oust Helicopter Company's CEO in Bankruptcy Coup". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Petroleum Helicopters, Inc. History". Retrieved 2015-04-04.
  8. ^ Goold, Ian (May 1987). "Helicopters over a barrel". Flight International: 26.
  9. ^ "Lake Palourde Base Heliport". AirNav, LLC. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Air Evac Services , Inc". Information. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  11. ^ "PHI Inc (PHII)". Thomson Reuters.
  12. ^ PHI fleet