Leonardo has confirmed its strong position in the commercial helicopter market with recent sales of 23 aircraft of various models to several operators across Europe, North America and Latin America, primarily for VIP/corporate transport, energy support, and search and rescue. Total sales include 15 AW139 intermediate twins, three AW169s light intermediate, three AW109 GrandNew light twins, one AW119Kx single engine and one AW189 super medium twin engine helicopter. The combined orders are valued at nearly 256 million euros, with deliveries between 2022 and 2023. Beyond sales, recent months also marked the introduction of new services offered by newly-accepted aircraft in various countries.
In the VIP/corporate market, official distributor for UK and Ireland Sloane Helicopters ordered three AW109 GrandNew aircraft. Since the beginning of the OEM's collaboration with Sloane, 91 Leonardo commercial helicopters have been delivered to operators and private customers in UK and Ireland, and Leonardo continues to be the largest manufacturer of VIP/corporate helicopters in the UK. By summer 2023, an additional 10 aircraft will have been supplied to the region, making this the best performance ever registered by a distributor in UK and Ireland. In the UK Leonardo also plans to further enhance support services in the future as the commercial fleet grows stronger.
Sloane says: “We are delighted and honoured to continue our close partnership with Leonardo. The AW109 series, together with the AW169, have consolidated their positions as the benchmark for helicopters in the corporate/VIP market. As the sole distributor in the region for nearly 27 years, Sloane Helicopters has an unrivalled understanding of customer requirements and continues to leverage this expertise by offering industry leading solutions throughout the sales process and after sales support.”
Comexport ordered an AW169 VIP in Brazil. The type has already proven highly successful in this key market for Leonardo, where seven units have already been delivered to various operators out of a total of 190 aircraft of various types serving different markets in the South American country. Turkish official distributor Kaan Air placed an order for one AW139. The contract expands the success of the AW139 in Turkey and adds to more than 30 commercial helicopters of various models sold in the country, particularly for VIP transport, emergency medical service and utility roles. Three different undisclosed users have also placed orders for a total of four AW139s VIP in the United States.
The AW139 has an established track record of shuttle and schedule services with operators across Asia, Europe and North America and is now adding Japan to the served geographies. Toho Air Service, in the framework of its heli-commuter service linking together the six major Izu islands in the Tokyo area, will start using an AW139 at the end of 2022, marking the entrance of the type in the Japanese shuttle service market and further growing the outstanding success of the AW139 in the country where nearly 70 units are in service for the widest range of roles today. Furthermore, 2021 also marks the sale of the first AW189 in VIP configuration for the European market to an undisclosed user.
The success of the AW169 light intermediate twin engine helicopter in the wind farm sector supporting offshore operations for the sustainable energy industry, particularly in the North Sea with various operators, has grown stronger with an order for two additional aircraft by HeliService International of Germany. These helicopters will be used to support Vestas, the turbine manufacturer, in its offshore wind farm programme in Taiwan starting in summer 2023. The contract brings the total number of AW169s ordered by HeliService to five since its first purchase in late 2015, and marks the entrance of the AW169 into the Asian wind farm market.
Managing director Henk Schaeken says: “HeliService is the largest operator in the offshore wind market. We owe a lot of our success in this market to the versatility and capability of the AW169. The AW169 is not only an extremely capable hoist platform but also allows us to perform crew change missions without having to reconfigure the aircraft. The increased performance introduced by the Enhanced Performance package made the AW169 the aircraft of choice for the project in Taiwan.”
In Mexico, passenger transport operator Pegaso, an existing AW139 operator, signed for an additional aircraft to carry out both offshore transport and search and rescue operations. In Italy, Elilombarda has already accepted two AW109 Trekker helicopters, now ready to start operations in the Italian offshore energy industry sector, becoming the first offshore-configured aircraft of this type. Moreover, two AW109 Trekkers have also recently entered service also in Greece for emergency medical service tasks strengthening the National Centre for Emergency Care's air ambulance operations and overall critical care capabilities across the country.The combined orders are valued at nearly 256 million euros, with deliveries between 2022 and 2023. Beyond sales, recent months also marked the introduction of new services offered by newly-accepted aircraft in various countries.