Gulf Helicopters signs firm order for 15 AW189s
Nov. 18, 2013, Doha, Qatar - AgustaWestland has announced Gulf Helicopters of Qatar has signed firm orders for 15 AW189 helicopters.
By Carey Fredericks
This signing follows the preliminary sale contract announced in early 2012, confirming customer’s commitment to this new generation model. The first two aircraft are planned to be delivered to the customer in 2014 and all helicopters will achieve operational readiness by 2017.
Daniele Romiti, chief executive officer, AgustaWestland said, “We are delighted to see how increasingly strong is our partnership with Gulf Helicopter with the signing of a significant number of firm orders for the all new AW189 helicopter. Gulf Helicopter, an already prime operator to the AW139 in the region, will also become the first customer introducing the Family concept into operational service in the whole area. We are confident they will perform a quantum leap forward in operational effectiveness, versatility and fleet management. We welcome them to the Family advantage.”
Mohamed Al Mohannadi, chief executive officer of Gulf Helicopters, stated: “The experience of operating, maintaining and managing the AW139 in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Europe over 6 years with 15 units in our Fleet and with over 45,000 hours of flying has helped Gulf Helicopters in taking the decision to purchase the AW189 eight-tonne class twin engine helicopter.” Mohannadi then added “The AW189, which hails from the same family of new generation helicopters such as the AW139, can add an advantage to the Company’s outstanding operations where longer range capabilities are required.” He further added “We are confident that with the support of AgustaWestland, our fleet of AW189s will find home quickly, as we believe that the AW189 is the perfect size to fit into a very niche market that is not really being serviced by other types of helicopter.”
Assembly and flight testing of the first batch of offshore-configured AW189 production aircraft is on-going at Vergiate plant (Italy) with the start of delivery planned by year end. Meanwhile a range maintenance and flight training devices is already being made available to customers to rapidly start familiarization with the type and speed up operational readiness once the aircraft are delivered to service, offering unprecedented advantages to the AW189 operators.
The AW189 is designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter. The new 8-tonne class twin engine helicopter is optimised for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received orders for more than 80 units making it the market leader in its class since its launch at Paris Air Show in June 2011. The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard. Seating options include a high density 18/19 seat or a long range 12 seat layout. The AW189 is unique in having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations.