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Angola's SonAir hails return of the EC225
African oil and gas helicopter operator SonAir says it has become the first operator to resume passenger transportation flights with the suspended EC225 fleet.

African oil and gas helicopter operator SonAir says it has become the first operator to resume passenger transportation flights with the suspended EC225 fleet. Three flights were performed successfully with two EC225s from Luanda to two offshore platforms. The Angola-based operator is the aviation division of Sonangol, Angola's national oil company. Its resumption of EC225 rotations for the oil and gas sector marks an important step in the return-to-service status for the full fleet worldwide.

Certain EC225 operations had been affected by the national authority restrictions, particularly for North Sea offshore oil and gas transportation missions. Yet other helicopters of this type have continued flying, with initial safety measures defined by Eurocopter. These aircraft have logged more than 20,000 flight hours since last October without incident.

“The three flights were routine, confirming that the EC225's service restart is backed by strong safety measures that give confidence to our clients,” says João Andrade, SonAir's chairman and ceo.

SonAir has a total of 11 EC225s located at its Luanda operating base, of which nine are dedicated to crew-change missions for offshore oil and gas platforms. Its Eurocopter fleet of aircraft also includes four AS332 L2 and three AS365 N3 helicopters.

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