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The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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Bestfly builds up Angolan offshore fleet
A first fully owned AW139 for Bestfly adds to the two leased AW139s and four AW169s ordered in 2021. This latest is expected to be delivered in Q3 2022.
Bestfly CEO Nuno Pereira.
Read this story in our May 2022 printed issue.

Africa-based operator Bestfly is expanding its fleet of Leonardo Helicopters configured for offshore transport missions in Angola. Its recent order for a first fully owned AW139 intermediate twin engine is expected to be delivered in Q3 2022.

This aircraft adds to two previously leased AW139s and four AW169s purchased at the end of 2021, which saw Bestfly become the first local operator to introduce the AW169 in the African market.

Previously, in November 2018, the company had added two AW139s for medevac operations and oil rig crew change movements for an Angola-based energy supplier. At the time these were the first rotary aircraft fleet additions that Bestfly had made since its launch in 2009, and it managed the process with operator partner Héli-Union, which supported initial operational requirements, maintenance and pilot training.

This latest AW139 contract potentially paves the way for further sustainable growth of the operator’s rotorcraft fleet in the region. Bestfly’s fleet of helicopters is expected to consist of seven Leonardo aircraft by the end of this year, and a total fleet of 30 aircraft.

The AW139 and AW169 helicopters are intended for onshore and offshore passenger and equipment transport in the energy mining and tourism industries in Angola.

This latest order provides further evidence of the potential in the African energy market for Leonardo’s latest generation helicopter models. The African oil and gas market is showing promising signs, considering reserves and the opportunities for new projects. With more than 200 units, the helicopter fleet comprises types from various OEMs supporting the energy industry in Africa, which is one of the biggest in the world.

With over 60 per cent of the existing offshore helicopter fleet still made up of old design types, Leonardo’s AW139, AW189 and AW169 helicopters are well positioned to meet fleet replacement and modernisation programmes among operators in the region.

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