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PRESS RELEASE – 17 January 2018

Falcon Aviation and Leonardo partner for new helicopter offshore and onshore contract for Kuwait Oil Company.

Falcon Aviation, one of the UAE’s leading aviation companies specializing in business aviation services, charter and aircraft management, confirmed on Jan. 17 at the Kuwait Aviation Show that three new Leonardo AW169 helicopters (signed for at the recent Dubai Airshow) will be deployed on a five-year contract with The Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). The helicopters will perform onshore and offshore oil-and-gas operations. This debut in Kuwait marks a significant expansion for Falcon Aviation, which will be adding additional personnel in Kuwait, including offshore pilots and supportive administration personnel, plus line and base engineers to start the contract. The first two AW169s will arrive in March and April 2018. 

“We congratulate Falcon Aviation Services on this major achievement and are proud to contribute with additional AW169s to meet the operational requirement,” said Emilio Dalmasso, senior vice president of commercial business unit, Leonardo Helicopters. “The new contract builds on our successful 10-year partnership including Falcon’s commitment as launch customer of the AW169 in the Middle East. We are convinced the Kuwait Oil Company will significantly benefit from the capabilities, versatility and safety of this new generation helicopter, along with the great service and operational expertise of Falcon Aviation.”

“This is a significant strategic contract for us, it was a strong international competition and fortunately we won the contract, which takes us into Kuwait for the first time,” said Falcon Aviation COO Captain Raman Oberoi. “We see a unique opportunity to provide safe and reliable services to KOC. We will work together to build a sustainable oil-and-gas aviation support services increase efficiency and productivity.”

MRO expansion into Kuwait

Falcon Aviation will establish all the required infrastructure, including the building of a brand new hangar to house the three Leonardo AW169s and create facilities to carry out line and base maintenance on the type.

“The KOC contract specified two helicopters, but Falcon Aviation added a third helicopter as backup to provide continuous services,” noted Nicolas Tejera, director of maintenance, who is expanding Falcon Aviation’s rotary MRO team by recruiting helicopter engineers for the project. “It is an honor to win this contract and we are excited to be entering into this new project in the new territory of Kuwait with Leonardo. We know and understand the aircraft well and have enjoyed excellent customer satisfaction with the AW169 since introducing the type with TOTAL in ABK Field, UAE in January 2016.”

Falcon Aviation is the lead aircraft operator of the AW169 worldwide and confident of its suitability to provide reliable services to KOC for its offshore and onshore requirements.

The AW169 is a modern, multi mission twin-engine class A performance helicopter, renowned for its superior performance and safety standards and featuring 8/10-seat passenger layout.

Press Release – January 16, 2018.

First EMS AW169 launched in the Nordics.

Östersund, Sweden – Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance (BSAA) is pleased to announce that it has launched the very first state-of-the-art AW169 helicopter in active Emergency Medical Service (EMS) duty in the Nordics. The helicopter is operated on behalf of Region Jämtland Härjedalen and it replaces the AS365N2 “Dauphin” that the company has operated in the region since 2006.

Shortly after 10:00 on Saturday, January 13, the new helicopter took off on its first mission assignment ever – a long-distance patient transport southwards. Later that afternoon, a very satisfied crew returned to Östersund after more than four hours in the air. “It’s a big and historic event for us and for the region to finally get airborne – in active duty – with the AW169,” says company Production Manager Thure Waplan. “The launch has been preceded by a long period of customization and training to ensure the highest quality and safety right from the start, which means that we are very delighted to start our operations with such a capable helicopter.”

The medical environment is greatly improved in this brand-new helicopter, while providing a host of customized solutions that are optimized for EMS. The list of advantages is long, but the most important ones include enhanced performance and improved safety. The sophisticated cockpit delivers better situational awareness while allowing more advanced flight automation.
The base in Östersund is the first of four Swedish EMS helicopter bases that will replace its existing helicopters with the Leonardo AW169s in 2018. Next in line are, Gällivare, Lycksele and the newly awarded base in Gothenburg. Simultaneously, work is also underway to replace the current helicopters at the company’s base in Stockholm with two new Airbus H145 this spring. “Overall, we are currently embarked on the most extensive upgrade of Sweden’s  EMS helicopter inventory ever”, says Waplan. ” We manage this task with great confidence and respect, and we are also very grateful for the trust we are given.”

About the AW169 – The Leonardo AW169 is a brand-new medium-sized helicopter that flew for the first time in 2012. It is equipped with two powerful Pratt & Whitney engines as well as the latest in avionics and flight safety features. In addition, it has a large and spacious cabin with large windows and a functional EMS interior, as well as a low floor to allow smooth patient transfer. The model is currently used in a wide range of operations worldwide, including EMS and rescue services, oil and gas, wind farm support, offshore pilot transfers, etc.

About BSAA – Babcock Scandinavian AirAmbulance operates the EMS helicopters at six of nine bases in Sweden, as well as three of seven bases in Finland. In Sweden, the company has helicopters in Gällivare, Lycksele, Östersund, Uppsala, Stockholm and Visby, and from June also in Gothenburg. In Finland, the company has helicopters in Rovaniemi, Oulu and Kuopio. In addition, the company has fixed-wing air ambulance aircraft in Luleå, Umeå, Arlanda and Landvetter, as well as offices in Östersund-Frösön, Stockholm-Arlanda and in Luleå. The Swedish airplane fleet is presently undergoing an extensive renewal process. BSAA has recently been< awarded the Norwegian air ambulance contract, which means that the company is currently setting up a Norwegian head office in Tromsø, placing a flight training simulator in Oslo, as well as establishing seven aircraft bases around Norway.

PRESS RELEASE – December 12, 2017

The World’s Best Aerial Firefighting Machine Returns to Chile.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Erickson Incorporated, a leading aerospace manufacturer and global aerial services company that has fought fires for nearly 50 years, has returned to serve the citizens of Chile in the Bío Bío Region. The aircraft, an S-64 Aircrane, will be brought in by Ecocopter, a Latin American national company of high complexity air services and cargo transport to provide services to the company ARAUCO with the aim of protecting population and industrial centers.
Erickson owns the world’s largest S-64 Aircrane fleet of 20 helicopters with more than 50 aircraft in all, and the Aircrane Helitanker is recognized throughout the industry as one of the most efficient and largest fire-fighting machines in the world, according to independent studies. The S-64 Helitanker is equipped with a 10,000 liter tank capable of snorkeling via a “sea snorkel” fresh or salt water that helps provide an outstanding capability for fire authorities in both the initial attack of fast moving fires and advanced structure protection. It has internal foam mixing capabilities and provides water or retardant dispensation utilizing eight coverage levels. The aircraft can be configured with a water cannon for high rise and structure protection.
As populations and development expand, aerial firefighting over residential properties and structures becomes a more crucial part of the equation. Erickson’s S-64 not only excels at supporting ground firefighters in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), but the aircraft is capable of dipping for water in areas a fixed wing cannot access, and it is able to come in slower and lower for precision placement of the water on and around residential properties and structures.
Every S-64 Aircrane has a nickname painted across the nose and “Annie” will be on the current contract, the sister helicopter of “Elvis,” which served the contract in early 2017, providing services mainly in the Seventh and Eighth regions. “Annie” has a vast history of responding to natural catastrophes and fire control in the United States and Europe, especially recent events in the state of California, in the municipalities of San Diego, Los Angeles and Santa Rosa. Armando Weinberger, commercial manager of Ecocopter, affirmed, “Having the presence of “Annie” in Chile, at the beginning of the fire season, showcases how the forestry industry is taking anticipated measures to prevent it from repeating the natural events that occurred during the previous season.” A study, conducted this last summer by the National Forest Corporation, (CONAF) found the S-64 Aircrane was chosen as the most efficient aircraft for Chilean firefighting, for all helicopters and airplanes and that the Aircrane offers 100% proficiency against other leading aerial firefighting machines.
Andrew Mills, Erickson President of Commercial Aviation said, “We appreciate the trust of our agency partners and customers and will endeavor to do our best for the people of Chile. Erickson has nearly 50 years of legacy experience in aerial firefighting and we are proud to bring our capable pilots, crews and “Annie” back to help mitigate fire damage.”

PRESS RELEASE – 11 January 2018

Helijet and PHI enter into Sikorsky S-76C++ Fleet Upgrade Arrangement.

Richmond, B.C. Canada (January 11, 2018): Helijet International Inc. (“Helijet”) based in Richmond, B.C. Canada has entered into a Letter of Intent for the procurement and supply of up to six (6) newer model Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopters with PHI, Inc. (“PHI”) based in Lafayette, Louisiana, USA.
The companies have signed definitive agreements for the delivery and acceptance of the first three Sikorsky S-76C++ helicopters which will be prepared at PHI’s Lafayette maintenance facilities for delivery to Helijet during the first and second quarters of 2018.
PHI will tailor the aircraft to Helijet’s specifications, including a complete re-paint to company livery, avionics changes, and selected aircraft operating equipment prior to being added to Helijet’s fleet for scheduled and general charter operating services in Canada. Helijet will redesign and refurbish the 12-passenger cabin interiors of the three aircraft. Additional aircraft deliveries will be subject to respective Company board approvals.
Danny Sitnam, Helijet’s CEO stated: “Helijet has been planning its aircraft fleet expansion and upgrade for the past 24 months, and is now committed to bringing in newer, more advanced technology to the communities it serves. We are very pleased that we can accomplish this initiative in concert with an aviation world leader such as PHI.”
PHI’s Chief Commercial Officer, Dave Stepanek expressed: “It is an absolute pleasure to work with Danny and his team. Their long history operating the S-76 with an excellent passenger service operation makes participating in this fleet upgrade even more exciting. We know the level of professionalism at Helijet and know they will maintain and operate our S-76C++s to the highest industry standards.” Helijet and PHI are long-standing and experienced air operators utilizing the Sikorsky family of helicopters and will continue to work collaboratively to better accommodate their respective fleet rationalization in the ever-changing market place.