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Heli-Drive orders five Bells as Russia's second distributor
Bell Helicopter has signalled the importance of the burgeoning Russian market by appointing Heli-Drive as an authorised independent sales representative for north west Russia.

Bell Helicopter has signalled the importance of the burgeoning Russian market by appointing Heli-Drive as an authorised independent sales representative for north west Russia.

The two companies also announced purchase agreements for five aircraft, two Bell 429s and three Bell 407GXs. All five will be operated by Heli-Drive, two on behalf of private owners and three within its own fleet.

“Russia is one of the fastest growing markets in the world and a key priority for Bell Helicopter,” says Danny Maldonado, evp sales and marketing. “Because of Russia's significance, we believe it is important to have locally-based representatives who can work directly with our customers in the market in which they fly.

“We selected Heli-Drive based on its professional approach and state-of-the-art facility. It provides a world-class experience and a strategic location in St Petersburg, near Pulkovo International airport, enables easy access for our customers.”

The new helicopters are expected to be delivered during 2013, and will be flown for a combination of corporate/vip and EMS missions in the St Petersburg region of Russia.

“Bell Helicopter's products are ideally suited to Russia's harsh operating conditions,” says Ivan Yatsenko, general director and major shareholder at Heli-Drive. “As a leader in north west Russia, our capabilities will enable Bell Helicopter to compete more aggressively in our growing market.”

Heli-Drive was founded in 2011 and has since established itself as a sales, service and training centre for vertical lift in Russia. Expansion of its facility, to be completed in late 2013, will include a multi-functional complex with a large showroom floor and private helicopter hangars.

Heli-Drive joins Moscow's Jet Transfer in providing independent representation for Bell Helicopter in Russia. “This is definitely a step forward for all of us,” says md of Jet Transfer Alexander Evdokimov, “as we are now truly professional partners. Previously we had just agreed to cooperate with Heli-Drive, but now it has gained official status. The north west is very important to us, and we are pleased that Heli-Drive will now advance Bell helicopters in that region.”

The presence of two dealers in one country is unusual for Bell Helicopter, but it made an exception for Russia in response to the rapid growth of the local helicopter market over most of the country.

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