World Helicopter NEWS

Latest NEWS from the helicopter world

PRESS RELEASE – Dubai, 13 November 2017

ABU DHABI AVIATION EXPANDS LEONARDO AW139 OFFSHORE HELICOPTER FLEET.

  • Order for two additional Leonardo AW139s with deliveries expected in 2017
  • Abu Dhabi Aviation already operates 15 AW139 helicopters
  • World best seller with over 1000 units ordered by 250 customers in 70 countries worldwide

Leonardo announced today that Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) has signed a contract for two additional AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The announcement was made during an official ceremony at the Dubai Air Show. The aircraft will be used to perform offshore transport mission with deliveries expected in 2017, further expanding ADA’s AW139 fleet which today accounts of 15 units in service primarily supporting the Oil & Gas industry. This latest order is part of an agreement for 15 helicopters including the AW139/AW169/AW189 types with deliveries through to 2019 announced at the end of 2015.

“Owning a fleet of ultra-fast aircraft and a state-of-the-art safety system has helped Abu Dhabi Aviation to drive its operations to the highest level of customer service,” said H.E. Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation. “The services provided by Abu Dhabi Aviation are driven by customer’s needs. These helicopters are widely used in the UAE, the GCC and the Middle East. ADA’s AW139s benefit from the support solutions provided locally by AgustaWestland Aviation Services LLC, an Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) and Leonardo joint venture delivering thorough support and maintenance services in the region.”

“The company has recently expanded its fleet to cover its contractual obligations inside and outside the U.A.E. and to further its investment in the aviation industry.”

“Abu Dhabi Aviation Services are among the top services provided across the Middle East and the world, especially in the field of operation, maintenance and training.” He added.

With over 140 AW139s ordered in the Middle East, more than 60 of which by customers in UAE, this model has demonstrated extremely successful for a wide range of commercial and government roles across the region and has set new standards for offshore transport duties.

Abu Dhabi Aviation has established, in cooperation with Leonardo, a maintenance center under the name of AgustaWestland Aviation Serices L.L.C. to expand its scope of services and meet the growing needs of the helicopter fleet in the Middle East. Having almost completed the provision of helicopter maintenance, repair and overhauling as well as all relevant logistic services. The joint venture is poised to provide maintenance, repair and overhauling for a wide range of these helicopters’ components.

The Company also plans to provide specialized services to support the full range of the new generation AgustaWestland aircrafts in the region. Since its inception, late 2011 and reaching its full operational capacity in 2013, the company has taken huge steps towards providing an expanding range of full-fledged services and activities with plans to sell helicopter spare parts and accessories and carry out helicopter/ component repairs, overhauling, customization, modification and upgrading. Leonardo and Abu Dhabi Aviation have been able to unify their efforts thanks to the combination of their engineering and maintenance expertise and the local partner’s willingness to invest in the latest technologies.

The Company has already acquired the capabilities to provide support to the latest AgustaWestland aircrafts: AW169 and AW189 to operators in the region. Therefore AgustaWestland Aviation Services is expected to become one of the major support centers of the latest generation of AgustaWestland aircraft.

PRESS RELEASE – Dubai, 12 November 2017

MILESTONE AVIATION AND LEONARDO TO PROVIDE THREE AW169S TO FALCON AVIATION.

Milestone Aviation Group (“Milestone”), a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, and Leonardoannounced today that Falcon Aviation of Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) will expand its AgustaWestland AW169 helicopter fleet with the addition of a further three aircraft.

The light-intermediate twin helicopters will have multi-mission capability with entry into service in first quarter of 2018. The aircraft will be acquired through operating lease, and represent the first helicopter lease transaction for Falcon.

“We are delighted to partner with Falcon Aviation and grow our presence in the Middle East,” said Milestone Vice President Commercial, Michael York. “When Milestone invested in a team in Dubai two years ago it was with the goal of building our support for local operators like Falcon.”

“Falcon Aviation was the global launch customer for the offshore-configured AW169, and subsequently took delivery of a VIP configured AW169” said Leonardo Helicopters’ Chief Business Officer Carlo Gualdaroni. “We are thrilled the unique capabilities of this new generation model have met Falcon’s diverse operating goals and they have chosen to increase their fleet to include 11 Leonardo Helicopters.”

With the addition of three AW169, Falcon Aviation’s fleet will include five AW169, two AW189 helicopters and four additional Grand and GrandNew light-twin helicopters. The AW169 and AW189 models, used by Falcon Aviation, are part of Leonardo’s family of new generation helicopters that also includes the AW139. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of fleets across the 4 to 9 tonne weight categories in areas such as training, flight operations, maintenance and support.The combination of AW169 and AW189 offshore gives Falcon Aviation and its customer’s unmatched benefits in terms of efficiency, capability and safety.

Falcon Aviation have also recently set a major operational milestone with their first AW169 which has become the global fleet leader in terms of flight hours, out of a total of 40 helicopters of this model in service with customers worldwide to date.

PRESS RELEASE – 16 October 2017

LEONARDO: AW169 HELICOPTER SCORES FIRST CONTRACT SUCCESS IN THE US EMERGENCY SERVICES MARKET.

• The order for three AW169 Emergency Medical Services helicopters was placed by Travis County, Texas for its STAR Flight program
• Travis County’s AW169s will be the first in the US to support patient transport, search and rescue, law enforcement and firefighting missions
• Contract builds on the global success of the AW169 for EMS and public service operations, as total orders exceed 160 of the type for 70 customers in 30 countries around the world

Leonardo announced today at the Air Medical Transport Conference (AMTC) in Fort Worth, USA that Travis County, Texas has signed a contract for three AgustaWestland AW169s for its STAR Flight program as the county-based EMS provider upgrades its helicopter fleet to more modern and capable aircraft. Travis County will be the launch customer of the EMS-configured AW169 in the United States, with deliveries expected to begin in October 2018. In addition to EMS operations, the AW169 will support Travis County’s search and rescue, law enforcement support and fire suppression efforts in the area surrounding Austin, Texas. The three AW169s will allow STAR Flight to grow its operational capabilities, including the ability to transport patients longer distances and increased capabilities for search and rescue, as well as responsiveness to wildfires. The helicopters will be configured with a multi-purpose interior with specialty EMS equipment and stretchers that can be reconfigured to incorporate search and rescue and firefighting kits. Additionally, Travis County’s AW169swill be equipped with a hoist and a 300-gallon Simplex belly tank. The contract builds on the global success of the AW169, achieved in just a few short years, following adoption by global EMS and public service operations for a diversified set of missions and earlier sales from U.S. VIP/corporate customers. More than 160 agreements for AW169s, including orders and options, have been signed by nearly 70 customers in approximately 30 nations worldwide to date.

PRESS RELEASE – 7 October 2017

SAS to provide AW139 support.

UK based operator and authorised Leonardo service centre – Specialist Aviation Servicesis pleased to announce its plans to extend its Leonardo support capability. SAS has spent five years developing a close working relationship with Leonardo Helicopters and building its technical expertise supporting the entry into service of the AW169 in the UK. It has also invested heavily in a unique and highly effective 24/7 field maintenance and spares support capability, designed to maximise the availability of its demanding market place. With twelve aircraft ordered, six of which are now delivered, SAS is already achieving the very highest levels of service availability which its third party private AW169 customers in and around Europe are also able to tap into. As Nigel Lemon, SAS Sales Director puts it – “We see a real opportunity to expand our support to more types in this area and are looking to take advantage of our strong working relationship with Leonardo and the commonality within the AgustaWestland Family product range”. In addition to the large team of base engineers, SAS field engineers are all licensed on the AW169 and are now undergoing their AW139 training. SAS is also setting up a Service Centre at Redhill. It plans to have the Redhill facility approved for both the AW169 & AW139 and operational before the end of the year.

PRESS RELEASE – 4 October 2017

AW169 helicopter success in UK EMS market continues with selection by the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust.

  • Specialist Aviation Services selected by the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust to provide an
    AW169 in 2019
  • This selection will increase the UK-based AW169 EMS fleet to eight aircraft
  • Over 160 AW169s are on order and more than 40 in service worldwide

London, 4 October 2017 – Leonardo announced today that Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) of the UK has been selected as the preferred bidder by the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust to provide an AgustaWestland AW169 EMS under a ten year contract starting in 2019. The AW169 will replace their MD902 Explorer operation and will be based at the Charity’s Cornwall Airport Newquay headquarters. Chosen by the Charity as its next generation helicopter, the AW169 will deliver greater overall safety, cabin space, performance & range and will be customised with a fully adaptable SAS medical interior that allows easy loading/unloading of the patient and all round patient access. The Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust has highlighted its excitement about the benefits the AW169 will bring to both the patient and the clinical crews to perform their job in the future.
Henk Schaeken, SAS Managing Director stated “I am confident the AW169 will provide the Charity with the best air ambulance solution available for many, many years to come.” Specialist Aviation Services is also an Authorized Service Centre for the new generation AW169 light intermediate helicopter in the UK and provides a range of support and maintenance services to AW169 operators.

PRESS RELEASE – 3 October 2017

Milestone Aviation Group Limited (Milestone) announced it has entered an agreement to lease two AW169 helicopters to Alidaunia S.R.L. of Italy, to support their emergency medical services (HEMS) in Italy.

Alidaunia has provided HEMS services in Italy for more than 20 years and Milestone is proud to bring latest technology aircraft to this service. One of the helicopters provided by Milestone is an extension of a current operating lease, and the second AW169 will be delivered from Milestone’s order book with Leonardo Helicopters in 2018. “Milestone is very proud to continue our strong partnership with Alidaunia, a long established and respected helicopter operator and service provider, and the launch customer for our AW169 order book,” said Milestone commercial vice president for Europe, Sebastien Moulin. “We are very pleased to bring new technology aircraft to Alidaunia’s longstanding EMS contract in Italy. We look forward to continuing to work with Alidaunia as they serve this essential function for the Italian people for years to come.” “Alidaunia has built a strong track record in serving several Italian regions and their EMS needs. Our lease partnership with Milestone continues to be a pillar for our company and our mission,” said Robert Pucillo, CEO of Alidaunia S.R.L. “Milestone understands our business as an operator and service provider. Their flexible financial solution and considerable expertise in delivering new aircraft allowed us to pursue the introduction of a new type into our fleet while minimizing our financial and operational risk.”