Following the company’s successful attendance at Heli-Expo 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia (7-9 March), Leonardo is announcing 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 EUR, 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. In addition to THC’s decision to confirm intent to further expand the presence of their 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 & 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, 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. 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 AW139s.
The AW169 and AW139 also strengthen their presence in the rescue and public service markets with new orders across Asia, Middle East and in USA for a total of ten 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 National Medical Centre, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, was the first EMS operator using Leonardo’s helicopters in the country. 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. –ln/mhi/mgm (Pix: via Leonardo)