W.A. Oil Factory and Distribution in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has taken delivery of a Bell 505 helicopter. With this latest acquisition, there are now almost 30 Bell 505s in operation across six countries in Africa and the Middle East.
W.A. was established in 2016 by CEO Worku Aytenew. The company's portfolio of businesses includes mining, real estate and transportation, as well as the W.A. Oil Factory project. This oilseed crushing and crude oil refining factory, located at Debremarkos in Amhara Regional State, East Gojjam Zone, imports and distributes ETB five billion (USD 200 million) worth of palm oil.
“We are proud to accept the delivery of the first Bell 505 in Ethiopia,” Aytenew says. “Given the rugged terrain and limited road infrastructure in parts of the country, the Bell 505 will save us hours and sometimes days of travel time.”
The Bell 505 was delivered to Addis Ababa's Bole International airport, which has an elevation of 7,625 feet above MSL. “We've been operating the aircraft at 8,100 ft with no problem at all,” adds pilot Gilbert Gitonga. “The 505 has plenty of power and is operating extremely well.”
Bell regional sales manager Lynette Loosen states: “The Bell 505 is an exceptional aircraft for corporate transportation, exceeding customers' expectations with a large, customisable cabin and fully integrated high tech features.”
The aircraft was delivered to one of Bell's independent representatives for Africa, Africair's Bell customer service facility (CSF) in Nairobi, Kenya, where it was re-assembled and hangared until its ferry flight to Addis Ababa.
“With this latest delivery, the Bell fleet in Africa continues to grow, building on its reputation for safety, reliability and cost-effectiveness,” comments Africair CEO Jim Evans. “In particular, over recent years the Bell 505 has grown in popularity, with operators on the continent appreciating the flexibility and versatility of this light helicopter. We are looking forward to building this new relationship with W.A. Oil.”
With a speed of 125 kts and a useful load of 1,500 pounds, the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing value to the operator.