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All posts for the month May, 2024

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  24 May 2024 17:37

  • PHI agrees to 12 AW189s including firm orders and options plus extensive support partnership 
  • To date, nearly 150 AW189s have been ordered with 90+ delivered to operators worldwide to date

Leonardo and PHI Group (PHI) have signed a framework agreement for 12 AW189 Helicopters to serve the global energy market starting in 2025. These are composed of firm orders as well as purchase options and include an extensive support partnership featuring a service center agreement, MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) agreement, and training solutions for the AW139 and AW189 models. 

“Today marks another significant milestone in our longstanding partnership with Leonardo,” said Scott McCarty, CEO of PHI Group. “Not only are we investing in state-of-the-art aircraft like the AW189, which underscores our commitment to delivering innovative solutions and ensures we are well-equipped to provide unparalleled service to our global customers, but we are also fortifying our repair and overhaul capabilities as we continue to focus on the growth of our world-class MRO facility in Lafayette, Louisiana. We look forward to introducing the AW189 to our fleet in 2025.”

Stefano Villanti, SVP Marketing & Sales at Leonardo Helicopters said: “We’re extremely pleased to further strengthen our collaboration with PHI, now also with the AW189 super-medium and more and more based on integrated capabilities including both advanced platforms and comprehensive support services. This provides further evidence of our commitment to delivering customized solutions by which we can support PHI to meet its long range operational requirement ensuring its fleet can be efficiently sustained by the level of service and proximity they deserve. We look forward to introducing the AW189 and activating the new services contributing to their capability growth plans.” 

Based in Lafayette, Louisiana, PHI has supported the energy industry for 75 years. Today, PHI operates more than 200 helicopters across the globe serving a number of markets, including energy and air medical. PHI currently operates a fleet of over 20 Leonardo aircraft to include AW139 and AW109 helicopters. 

PHI’s AW189s configuration will be fully compliant with the IOGP (International Association of Oil & Gas Producers) Report 690 guidelines. This latest agreement reinforces the AW189 in the global offshore market.   

Belonging to the AWFamily of products, the AW189 combines superior payload and range with advanced technologies to successfully operate a wide range of missions such as energy industry support, search and rescue, passenger transport, firefighting, and law enforcement. Unique features of the helicopter include the capability of the main transmission to run without oil for 50 minutes and a built-in auxiliary power unit. The AW189 is available with more than 200 certified kits and delivered with a comprehensive support and training service package tailored to meet specific customer requirements to maximize mission effectiveness and safety of operations. The type is also certified for an automatic data transmission system enabling the aircraft to transmit performance data to a ground station using satellite communication in flight, 4G cell connectivity, or Wi-Fi when on the ground. It offers a secure way to share an accurate picture of each flight so that Leonardo experts can assess data quickly, thus optimizing maintenance and support. Nearly 150 AW189s have been ordered, and more than 90 delivered to operators worldwide to date. After 10 years since its certification, the AW189 remains the world’s most successful super-medium category helicopter by market size, number of operators, countries, and applications.

PRESS RELEASE – Rome,  29 May 2024 14:46

  • AW09 single engine helicopter distributors appointed in Europe, with plans for a further reinforcement of the new type in the region 
  • New VIP-Corporate AW109/AW169/AW139 helicopter orders in India as interest for the AW09 in the country grows further 

Leonardo and key partners from the passenger transport sector in Europe and Asia have announced new progress in introducing modern rotorcraft technologies and capabilities to deliver the best service and safety in their respective markets meeting diverse emerging requirements. The announcements were made during a dedicated event at EBACE 2024 (Geneva, 28-30 May). 

Léman Aviation and Sloane have been appointed official distributors for the next generation AW09 single engine helicopter. In February of this year Sloane and Leonardo announced a major reinforcement of their collaboration in the UK and Ireland commercial helicopter market, dating back to 1995, with the signing of preliminary sales contracts for nine AW09s.

This step extended the AW09’s world market reach to the relevant geography. Sloane has been closely looking at the development and progress of the all-new single engine in recent years and is convinced it will become the benchmark aircraft in its category, along with their current Leonardo light category aircraft offerings. 

Headquartered in Switzerland and France with a strong presence in Monaco and the French Riviera, delivering world-class helicopter services at the industry’s highest standards, Léman Aviation signed Preliminary Sales Contract for ten AW09s in late 2023. This deal extended the market reach of the new type to Europe following announcements of partnerships and distribution agreements already made in North and Latin America, and Asia in 2023, some leading to end-user orders. As the distributorship agreement is in place, a first private end-user customer from France has also ordered one aircraft through Léman Aviation for passenger transport duties, therefore becoming the launch customer for the type in the country.  

Moreover, Leonardo and Blueberry Aviation, a leading private company that offers a wide array of services to operators, owners, financiers and investors in the fixed wing aircraft and helicopter sectors, are in advance talks to extend their collaboration in Central/Southern Europe to include the AW09 in their portfolio and achieve the distributorship in these regions. 

At EBACE, Universal Vulkaan Aviation Pte Limited, appointed as Leonardo’s distributor for the Indian civil helicopter market earlier this year, signed preliminary sales contracts for five AW09s, growing the success of the new single engine in Asia. Furthermore, Universal Vulkaan Aviation Pte Limited also signed a contract for three helicopters including one AW109 GrandNew, one AW169 and one AW139 with deliveries expected between 2025 and 2026. This order is part of a framework agreement to procure ten units from these three twin-engine types over three years. This collaboration underscores the partners’ commitment to providing cutting-edge aviation solutions tailored to the Indian market’s evolving needs, considering the country’s booming civil aviation sector and the increasing demand for reliable transportation solutions.

Stefano Villanti, SVP Marketing & Sales at Leonardo Helicopters said: “The achievements and discussions held at EBACE leading to these multiple announcements testify once more our further growing competitiveness in the VIP-Corporate market, not only in the multi-engine segments but also with the growing level of endorsement for and interest in the AW09 single engine. This means we’re extending the reach of our value proposition to a greater community of passenger transport users and service providers by type and region and we’re doing so at a steady pace. We’re extremely happy with what we see and the level of acceptance we keep receiving with our modern, safe and increasingly sustainable technology and with our exclusive ‘Agusta’ brand.”  

The AW09 continues to generate a positive response from all geographies worldwide as the programme development progresses. Rotorcraft companies and private operators highly welcome the AW09 for its outstanding characteristics and multirole capabilities that represent a significant evolution compared to existing products in this category. The AW09 perfectly complements Leonardo’s product range in the Long Light Single-segment, introducing an all-new design aircraft to sustain long-term competitive positioning in this weight category. Also, designed as a true digital helicopter and connected from day one, the AW09 will allow data transmission, gathering and analysis for technical support, scheduled maintenance and flight efficiency/safety capabilities with no equals on the single engine market. The total number of preliminary sales for the AW09 is exceeding 100 units globally and keeps growing steadily. 

Joining now the Agusta-branded range of VIP/corporate-configured types in Leonardo’s portfolio translates into an even more significant benefit in this segment combining the superior features of the AW09 in the long-light single engine segment in terms of cabin space/modularity, and technology with the distinguished customization, comfort, and passenger experience and service characteristics. A full-scale Agusta-branded mock-up is on display at the Leonardo booth at EBACE, attracting lots of interest within the rotorcraft community thanks to its distinguished features in cabin space, modularity and ergonomics, and external footprint.