AgustaWestand

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Offshore operating giant Era Group has admitted it may have to cancel two-thirds of its orders for new aircraft as a result of the continued downturn in the oil-and-gas sector.

The operator currently has orders for nine AgustaWestland AW189s, three Sikorsky S-92s, and five AgustaWestland AW169s, representing a total commitment of US$174.5 million. The AW189s and S-92s are scheduled to be delivered between 2015 and 2018, while no delivery dates for the AW169s have been determined.

Era also has outstanding options to purchase up to 10 additional AW189s and three S-92s. But, as it reported its third quarter results Wednesday, Era said it may terminate $127 million of those commitments — and had already signed a contact amendment that included a reduction in the number of firm commitments and a deferral in delivery dates and deposit payments.

“We remain in dialogue with our long-term partners at the helicopter manufacturers and expect that those commercial conversations will result in additional contract modifications that will further reduce our near-term capital commitments by deferring additional helicopter delivery dates,” the operator said in a statement.

Era took delivery of the first S-92 in its fleet in September, which was subsequently placed in service in October, but said it continued to experience excess capacity in its medium helicopters, and expected excess capacity in its heavy helicopters (of nine Airbus Helicopters H225s) to increase beginning in the fourth quarter of 2015.

In its third quarter results, the company reported a net income of $0.9 million — as compared to 2014’s third quarter net income of $4.3 million.

“The third quarter proved to be a very challenging one as conditions further deteriorated in our key geographical markets,” said Chris Bradshaw, Era Group’s president and chief executive officer. “As the WTI crude oil price dropped from approximately $60 per barrel at the end of June to below $40 per barrel in mid-August, our customer base responded with renewed emphasis on cost reduction measures, which negatively impacted our operating revenues.”

“We believe the challenging industry conditions prevalent in 2015 are likely to continue for the next several quarters. We operate in a dynamic industry, and cost management is an ongoing process. We began adjusting our organization and cost structure with a management realignment and reduction in force in October and November 2014, and our focus on realizing cost savings has continued throughout 2015 and included all aspects of our business. Last month, we began an additional round of cost control measures, including further headcount reductions.”

Images courtesy and copyright by Oscar BERNARDI.

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Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland Congratulates The Dubai Police on 20 Years of AW109 Operations.

  • 20 years of airborne law enforcement with the AW109 in Dubai
  • Dubai Police fleet of AW109s has flown over 16,000 hours
  • Dubai Police set to introduce the all new AW169 into service for transport, law enforcement and medical evacuation missions

Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland congratulates the Dubai Police on achieving 20 years of successful operations and over 16,000 flight hours with its fleet of AW109 light twin-engine helicopters. A ceremony was held at the Dubai Airshow today to celebrate this major milestone.

A leading helicopter operator in Dubai and a key law enforcement operator of AgustaWestland AW109s, the Dubai Police has been successfully performing law enforcement and homeland security missions often in very demanding conditions.

Dubai Police is now set to receive the all new AW169 light intermediate helicopter, which will further expand its mission capabilities for transport, law enforcement and medical evacuation applications. A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the AW169 4.6 tonne is certified in accordance with EASA CS-29 / FAR Part 29 latest Amendments. The AW169 can comfortably accommodate up to ten passengers or up to two litters plus medical attendants in its large, unobstructed cabin, fitted with a range of customised equipment and entertainment systems. The type incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems.

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LifeFlight of Maine … 24/7 operations and improving.

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — LifeFlight of Maine is known for providing critical care transport to all who need its resources. The expansion of LifeFlight will not only add jobs, but will also allow pilots and the medical staff to respond to more calls and help more people.

In just minutes LifeFlight pilots and medical staff can be up in the air flying patients to get the help that they need. Along with their new fixed wing aircraft LifeFlight has moved into a larger hangar at Bangor International Airport.
Having a larger hangar to call home means many changes including moving their communications center to the hangar.

“…Makes all the difference in the world, it allows, us to be 24/7 ops, and quarters that provide us both comfort and facilities that can keep the aircraft clean, out of the weather and ready to be you know launched on a mission in very short order…” said Tad Woodilla, the Aviation Site Manager for Flight Operations for LifeFlight of Maine.

It also allows LifeFlight to store multiple aircraft along with their new one. Currently LifeFlight has 2 helicopters, and one fixed wing airplane. Their new fixed wing aircraft is being outfitted so they have a substitute in the meantime. And expanding, means adding more jobs.

“…We’ve had hired and we continuing to hire, so to add the fixed wing that was an additional 8 pilots, and an additional mechanic, were overtime gonna add some new communications staff, and over time add more clinical staff as well” said Thomas Judge the Executive Director of LifeFlight and the LifeFlight Foundation.

They do about 1650 transports a year most being hospital to hospital through primarily aviation, but the numbers are rising.
Over time, LifeFlight hopes to add 35 jobs. But most importantly they will continue responding to the people of Maine at a moments notice.

“Cause we’re serving the people of Maine, and we’re making better outcomes for people so to know we’re helping people at the end of everyday, is part of the joy of working here, and just helping folks out” said Woodilla.

LifeFlight’s 2 helicopters are on call 24 hours a day.

The substitute fixed wing aircraft are currently only operated 12 hours a day but they are moving towards 24 hour coverage in the near future. The new airplane should arrive later this week. LifeFlight also has a 3rd back up helicopter and they are working on adding a full-time one in the future through fundraising.

Thanks to Oscar BERNARDI for these images of the LifeFlight of Maine helicopters.

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