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Leonardo Helicopters
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SaxonAir signs up for GrandNew replacement
UK operator SaxonAir is to take delivery of an Agusta AW109SP GrandNew helicopter in the first quarter of 2023. It will replace its AW109SP which was delivered new in 2016.
SaxonAir head of helicopter flight operations Christopher Gerskowitch and Sloane Helicopters sales director John Parnell.
Read this story in our June 2022 printed issue.

Norwich, UK-headquartered operator SaxonAir has confirmed its order for an Agusta AW109SP GrandNew helicopter, to be delivered in the first quarter of 2023 with the registration G-KLNA. It will replace its AW109SP, which was delivered new in 2016.

The company originally committed to the helicopter in December 2021. The GrandNew is a light twin engined helicopter with high performance. It can comfortably accommodate six passengers in VIP seating.

“This commitment to the AW109 GrandNew is a major milestone in the development of SaxonAir Helicopters, which evolved out of its 20 year plus fixed wing business in response to client demand to deliver that final mile in private travel; door to door,” says CEO Alex Durand.

SaxonAir has also extended its third-party maintenance agreement with Sloane Helicopters, which has actively supported Leonardo in sales and maintenance since 1995, to support the type once delivered.

"We are delighted to be continuing our near decade long relationship with SaxonAir, bringing into service its second new AW109SP helicopter,” says UK and Ireland distributor Sloane Helicopters sales director John Parnell. "The AW109 GrandNew is an especially sought-after UK corporate flagship aircraft with a generous 917 km range and a max cruise speed of 180mph.

SaxonAir has bases at London Stansted and London Biggin Hill airports as well as Denham Aerodrome for helicopter operations. It already offsets carbon emissions produced by all of its helicopter flights as part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability. Now, it is looking at introducing a potential mobile sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) bowser to support its growing operations.

Some 20 per cent of SaxonAir's business jet customers regularly charter helicopters too. Domestic and northern European destinations are popular, especially Paris and Amsterdam, plus shuttle services from East Anglia and the Home Counties to The London Heliport. Helicopter charter has grown on a par with fixed wing activity. In certain corporate sectors where airlines and train operators have cut back services it has seen even higher growth.

This will be the fifth AW109SP series SaxonAir has managed and its second aircraft as an owner. Head of helicopter flight operations Christopher Gerskowitch says: “The AW109 is the de facto standard corporate helicopter in the UK. We are well positioned to give back up to UK AW109SP owners; if their helicopter is in maintenance, we can offer an identical type from the fleet, and if they need type-rated pilots too we can provide a company crew member.”

Helicopter charter customers also benefit from SaxonAir's wider business jet charter, aircraft management, FBO and heli offshore support service as well as its training expertise.

SaxonAir Helicopters currently has a total of six light twin executive helicopters including one Airbus ACH125 and hopes to add a seventh by summer 2023.

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