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MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
MEBAA (Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association)
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.
Leonardo's order book very much open for EMEA customers
Among operators placing orders for Leonardo offshore-configured helicopters, Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) in the United Arab Emirates expanded its AW139 offshore fleet with an order for six more helicopters.
It was a hectic Heli-Expo for Leonardo.

Leonardo has announced further growth within the commercial helicopter market, with new orders for nearly 40 aircraft of various models to several operators across Middle East, Asia, Americas and Europe primarily for energy support, rescue and public service duties, and VIP transport operations. Combined orders for the AW139, AW169, AW109 GrandNew and AW109 Trekker types have a total value of approximately 470 million euros, with deliveries between 2023 and 2026.

All of these orders add to preliminary sales contracts, already announced at Heli-Expo, for more than 50 AW09 next generation single engine helicopters for customers worldwide. They are also in addition to The Helicopter Company's decision to confirm intent to further expand the presence of its AW139 fleet in Saudi Arabia for SAR, EMS and corporate transport adding six helicopters plus 20 options within the next 18 months.

Nearly 25 aircraft will carry out offshore transport missions with various operators supporting the energy industry across geographies. The AW139 global fleet grew with new orders across the Middle East, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia and Germany, confirming worldwide appreciation of the platform and unmatched competitiveness for oil and gas operations. Also, the AW169 continues to prove the aircraft of choice in its class for offshore transport and wind farm support, both in Europe and Asia.

Among operators placing orders for Leonardo offshore-configured helicopters, Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) in the United Arab Emirates expanded its AW139 offshore fleet with an order for six more helicopters with deliveries expected in the 2024-2026 timeframe. Omni Helicopters International (OHI) has also signed a contract for two AW139s to carry out offshore transport missions in Brazil with deliveries expected in 2024. This latest order follows a significant Leonardo fleet expansion at OHI adding to a total of six AW139s and two AW189 super medium helicopters, which were procured between 2021 and 2022.

Two more AW139s were ordered by SFS Aviation, a leading provider of offshore helicopter services for oil and gas companies in Thailand. These aircraft, expected to be handed over this year, will increase the user's fleet to a total of seven AW139s. In Indonesia, Travira Air signed a contract for an additional AW139 offshore, which is expected to be delivered in 2024.

HeliService International GmbH (HeliService) in Germany is further strengthening its range of offshore transport services, with an order for two more Leonardo Helicopters comprising an AW139 and an AW169. The aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2024. HeliService has been operating AW139s and AW169s for offshore wind farm support missions in the North Sea over the last few years delivering outstanding operational capability and safety standards with ongoing successful expansion in Asia and USA, where three new AW169s are already expected to be in service starting from summer 2023.

The success of the AW169 supporting offshore operations has been confirmed also in India. Global Vectra Helicorp Limited (GVHL) has placed an order for two AW169s to support transport operations in the energy industry sector. The delivery of the aircraft is expected to be completed this year, joining a fleet of Leonardo AW139 intermediate twins. GVHL has been an integral player in the provision of aviation services to the oil and gas sector since 1998. It was the first operator in India to introduce the AW139 helicopter into service for the local oil and gas industry and remains the largest operator of this type in the country. GVHL has over 24 years' experience in helicopter services, and it has logged in excess of 260,000 flight hours, transporting more than 4.6 million passengers from more than 10 bases.

The AW169 and AW139 have also strengthened their presence in the rescue and public service markets with new orders across Asia, Middle East and in USA for a total of 10 units.

In South Korea, the EMS (emergency medical service) operator UI Helijet has signed a contract for two AW169s. The aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2025 and will enter into service starting 2026. UI Helijet, an EMS contractor for the country's National Medical Center, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, was the first EMS operator using Leonardo's helicopters in the country. UI Helijet currently serves three EMS bases with two AW109 GrandNew aircraft (plus one backup of the same model) and an additional AW169 (plus one AW169 backup), for a total of five helicopters. Since the beginning of its EMS services in 2016 and up to mid-February 2023, UI Helijet has conveyed in excess of 3,200 patients. Today, seven out of a total of eight EMS bases in South Korea are supported by Leonardo Helicopters, confirming a strong leadership in this important market. In the meanwhile, UI Helicopter Co., Ltd., a sister company of UI Helijet and authorised service centre, is the helicopter MRO provider for Leonardo Helicopters in the country, while UI International, also sister company of UI Helijet, is Leonardo's sales promoter and distributor in Korea.

The Phoenix Police Department has signed a contract for one AW169 and an option for a second. The aircraft will be operated by the Phoenix Police Air Tactical Support Bureau as the larger and most modern aircraft in the operator's helicopter fleet, complementing the Leonardo AW109 Power originally acquired in 2005.

The outstanding capabilities of the best-selling AW139 helicopter have also been reconfirmed with a new order for one AW139 by Abu Dhabi Police in UAE. The type is highly successful in the country for a range of roles, including law enforcement and rescue services among others.

Mitsui Bussan Aerospace (MBA), the authorised distributor for the AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopter models in Japan, announced with Leonardo orders recently signed for a total of six AW139s, to meet the requirements of various upcoming opportunities in the country.

In Latin America the success of Leonardo's offer, particularly for the VIP/corporate transport market and leveraging the exclusive Agusta brand value proposition, is growing further with sale of three helicopters to Synerjet Latina SA, a new distributor responsible for Colombia, Peru, Chile and Paraguay. In particular, these comprise two AW109 GrandNew and one AW109 Trekker light twin engine aircraft, with deliveries expected between the end of 2024 and the 2Q of 2025.

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