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Monday, June 5, 2023

Leonardo: Abu Dhabi Airlines expands its AW139 offshore fleet, orders six more helicopters

Aircraft deliveries expected to support energy sector operations during 2024-2026

The 15-year partnership between Leonardo and Abu Dhabi Airlines has seen a total order of 33 helicopters to date and a decade of comprehensive support services through local joint ventures

Leonardo announced at Heli-Expo 2023 (Atlanta, March 7-9) that Abu Dhabi Airways (ADA) has signed a contract for the purchase of six AW139 medium twin-engine helicopters. These aircraft are expected to be delivered in 2024-2026 and will be used for maritime transport missions, further expanding the ADA AW139 fleet primarily supporting the energy industry. These newest aircraft will also bring ADA into compliance with the latest OGP guidelines.

Gian Piero Cutillo, General Manager of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “This contract further strengthens the relationship between Leonardo and ADA, which has grown over the years in the supply of latest generation platforms and advanced customer support services. It further confirms the presence of the AW139 as a benchmark helicopter in its class in the Middle East and world energy industry markets.”

“Fleet strategy is important to ADA as we plan for the future. This purchase of additional AW139s will ensure that ADA has a state-of-the-art aircraft to support our continued growth in the industry,” Abu Dhabi Airways said.

Leonardo and ADA have been working together for more than 15 years and the operator has so far purchased a total of 33 aircraft, most of them AW139. In 2022, ADA signed a contract for three AW139s, the first aircraft has been delivered and two are expected to be delivered this spring, further demonstrating the strong cooperation with Leonardo and ADA’s commitment to the growing capabilities of these models confidence. The AW169 light mid-weight twin engine model added in recent years represents the perfect complement to the AW139, taking advantage of the unique AWFamily benefits as well as a similar design philosophy and the latest certification and safety standards. Most recently, the ADA’s fleet of Leonardo helicopters set a milestone of 10,000 flight hours in the past year, and by next summer they will total close to 100,000 flight hours.

About a decade ago, with the establishment of the AgustaWestland Aviation Services joint venture and subsequent training and simulation capabilities, ADA’s fleet of Leonardo helicopters expanded to include comprehensive localized support, maintenance and overhaul services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Established in 1976, Abu Dhabi Airlines is a state-controlled company and the largest operator of commercial helicopters in the Middle East and North Africa region. The company has a fleet of nearly 60 aircraft, including more than 50 helicopters and several fixed-wing aircraft. ADA also operates aircraft for various entities. ADA has won many international aviation awards. The number of safe flight hours exceeds 1 million hours. ADA was the first rotor AOC established in the UAE in 1976. ADA is a leading helicopter operator and maintainer in the MENA region with onshore oil and gas, offshore operations as well as HEMS, VIP transport and many other aviation services in the UAE and globally. ADA is also a capable Leonardo MRO with base, production line and workshop capabilities.

Since its certification in 2004, the AW139 is the most important helicopter program in the world and the best-selling model in its class, with more than 1,250 orders to date from more than 290 operators in more than 80 countries helicopter for all missions. To date, the global AW139 fleet has logged more than 3.6 million flight hours. The aircraft features state-of-the-art avionics, advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems that enhance situational awareness and reduce pilot workload, unrivaled speed, power margin and overall performance, the widest cabin in its class, Featuring a high degree of modularity for quick reconfiguration, a unique 60+ minute idle main gearbox for increased reliability and safety, and up to 1000 certified kits.

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