United Arab Emirate operator Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) has signed a contract to procure six AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The aircraft are expected to be delivered in the 2024-2026 timeframe and will be used to perform offshore transport missions further expanding ADA's AW139 fleet primarily supporting the energy industry. These latest aircraft will also allow ADA to achieve compliance with the latest OGP guidelines.
“Fleet strategy is very important to ADA as we plan for the future. This purchase of additional AW139s will ensure ADA has a state-of-the-art capable aircraft to support our continued growth in the industry,” says a spokesperson for the operator.
Abu Dhabi Aviation is a national shareholding company and the largest commercial helicopter operator in the MENA region, established in 1976. The company owns a fleet of nearly 60 aircraft, including more than 50 helicopters and several fixed-wing aircraft. ADA also operates aircraft for various other entities, and has completed more than 1,000,000 safe flying hours. ADA was the first rotary wing AOC in the UAE established in 1976 and is now the leading helicopter operator and maintainer in the MENA region conducting oil and gas onshore and offshore operations as well as HEMS, VIP transport and many other aviation services in the UAE and also worldwide. ADA is also a capable Leonardo MRO with both base, line and shop capability.
Leonardo and ADA have been collaborating for over 15 years with the operator acquiring a total of 33 aircraft to date, most of which are AW139s. In 2022, ADA signed for three AW139s with the first aircraft already delivered and the remaining two expected to be handed over in spring this year, providing further evidence of the solid collaboration with Leonardo and ADA's confidence in the type's growing capabilities. The addition of the AW169 light intermediate twin engine type in recent years represented the best possible complement to the AW139, leveraging the unique AW family advantages with a similar design philosophy and latest certification and safety standards. Recently, ADA set a 10,000 flight hour milestone with its Leonardo helicopter fleet over the last year as it nears a total of 100,000 flight hours by next summer.
ADA's fleet of Leonardo Helicopters was extended to comprehensive localised support, maintenance and overhaul services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) around 10 years ago with the establishment of the AgustaWestland Aviation Services joint venture and subsequently training and simulation capabilities.
Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, says: “This contract further strengthens the partnership between Leonardo and ADA, which has constantly grown over the years both in terms of latest generation platform supply and advanced customer support services. It further confirms the AW139's presence in the Middle East and in the world's energy industry market as the benchmark helicopter in its category.”