Starlite Aviation Group has ordered two AS332 C1e helicopters, the latest version of the Eurocopter Super Puma medium-weight helicopter, with options on two more. Acquired as part of a fleet renewal and expansion programme, first deliveries are expected before the end of 2013, following EASA and FAA certification.
Based in Ireland and South Africa, Starlite offers helicopter services to international clients such as UN agencies and NGOs for peace keeping or logistic support missions involving transportation of passengers and freight, heavy load aerial work, surveillance and executive transport.
"After 12 years of Puma operations in austere environments all over the world, Starlite is convinced that the Super Puma AS332 C1e is the only new product on the market able to meet the requirements of the commercial medium-heavy utility market," says ceo Slade Thomas, pictured on the front cover. "It is an honour to be the launch customer of this new version."
It includes a specific configuration offering shorter lead times and comp-etitive operational and maintenance costs. Long range capabilities, power, speed and large useful payload of up to 4.3 tons make it suitable for missions such as equipment and passenger transport as well as SAR.
Fabrice Arfi, Eurocopter Group head of business development, says: "Starlite has demonstrated a high level of expertise carrying out very demanding missions in difficult environments and we know that they will continue to be successful with this high-performing helicopter."
Thomas adds: "This year has been exceptional for Starlite and has seen the company secure new contracts on a global basis, including Europe."