BAN's World GazetteerItaly
Russian finance company VTB Leasing has taken delivery of an Agusta Westland AW139 medium twin helicopter which it will use for corporate and passenger transport missions in the Moscow region. The company has regional offices in the Russian Federation and subsidiary companies in Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Cyprus and Ireland.
This is the first delivery of an AW139 sold in Russia, where a total of six of the type have been ordered so far in just two years. Two of them have been purchased by STC Rossiya, the Russian operator responsible for managing the presidential fleet, and are expected to be delivered by early 2012. The AW139 was selected after an extensive and in-depth analysis, says Agusta Westland, and it was recognised as the most suitable heli-copter for the Russian environment.
VTB Leasing's AW139 is also the first vvip-configured example featuring the FIPS (Full Icing Protection System), which allows flights in known icing conditions with real all-weather capability, meaning the aircraft will successfully accomplish missions even in the most demanding conditions. Both the helicopter and the icing protection system recently received Russian certification.
Emilio Dalmasso, svp commercial business unit, Agusta Westland, said: "Achieving operational readiness in the promising Russian market, with its impressive growth potential, is a significant milestone for the type."
Extensively tested in the most extreme conditions such as those encountered in Canada and in the Middle East, an AW139 accomplished a successful four weeks demonstration tour across Russia in mid 2010.
Meanwhile, the AW139 has found success in hotter regions such as India too, especially for vip/corporate and offshore transport purposes. Orders for more than 500 have been placed by over 140 customers from around 50 countries.