Leonardo: AW109 GrandNew Light Twin Enters Irish VIP Market
(Source: Leonardo; issued July 18, 2018)
FARNBOROUGH --- Leonardo and official distributor in UK Sloane Helicopters (Sloane) announced today that QME Mining Equipment Ltd (QME) of Ireland, a leading company in the supply of complete solutions to the Mining and Tunnelling industries worldwide, has signed a contract for an AW109 GrandNew helicopter.

The aircraft will be used to perform VIP/corporate transport operations with delivery expected in early 2019. The announcement was made during an official ceremony held at Farnborough International Airshow today.

QME, with decades of helicopter ownership experience, selected the AW109 GrandNew after a thorough and rigorous evaluation. The order marks the first AW109 GrandNew in VIP configuration entering the Irish helicopter market where Leonardo is pursuing further opportunities for a range of types that include the AW109 Trekker and AW169, thanks to state-of-art avionic and navigation systems along with class leading performance, safety and comfort standards for roles such as VIP transport and helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS). Irish operators can also benefit from an established and expanding in-country support presence, following the set-up of a Leonardo Authorised Service Centre by Sloane Helicopters in St Angelo, Enniskillen in 2007.

This latest contract follows another major milestone achieved in the Irish market, with Sloane being selected in June to operate, on behalf of the Irish Community Rapid Response (ICRR), Ireland’s first dedicated charity funded HEMS service to be based at Cork Airport. Sloane will initially use an AW109 EMS and a dedicated in-country back up AW109 starting later this year.

David George, Sloane Chairman, said “As we approach our 20th year as an established HEMS operator, we are delighted and proud to have been selected by ICRR to provide HEMS services in Ireland and very much look forward to developing a close partnership with the Charity. For over 23 years as the Leonardo distributor in Ireland and the UK, as well as being an Authorised Service Centre, Sloane Helicopters has provided helicopter in-country support for its many Irish customers and sees this scope expanding over coming years.”

Also, the AW139 model has proven successful in Ireland with one aircraft used for private/VIP transport and six units operated as multirole helicopters by the Irish Air Corps. With this latest AW109 GrandNew sale Leonardo is increasing its dominant position in the UK and Irish VIP/corporate market where Leonardo and Sloane have delivered 15 helicopters including the AW109, AW169 and AW139 models in the last 18 months.

Leonardo maintains its leading position in the world’s VIP/corporate market in the multi engine helicopter segment, also including private, charter and VVIP/Government transport services, for both units delivered and value outperforming competition. In 2017 global market share was approximately 50%.

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AW169 Helicopter Grows Stronger in UK EMS Market with Selection by Magpas Air Ambulance
(Source: Leonardo; issued July 18, 2018)
FARNBOROUGH --- Leonardo is pleased to announce that Magpas Air Ambulance has selected the AW169 as its new generation helicopter. Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) will customise the aircraft with an advanced medical interior and will operate the helicopter on behalf of Magpas Air Ambulance, providing pilots and maintenance services. The announcement was made during the Farnborough International Airshow.

Magpas Air Ambulance, a leading HEMS provider and the oldest emergency medical charity of its kind in the UK, operates 24/7 throughout the year and is fundraising to put its AW169 into service in the spring of 2019. Magpas Air Ambulance selected the AW169 for its class leading characteristics and an unrivalled medical interior enabling 360º patient access, which will deliver increased mission effectiveness in its daily life-saving duties.

Daryl Brown, CEO, Magpas Air Ambulance said “We are delighted to be working with Leonardo and Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) towards the delivery of a new AW169, to replace our current aircraft in the spring of 2019.

The current Magpas Air Ambulance MD 902 Explorer entered service 17 years ago and has been with Magpas Air Ambulance since June 2012. Whilst the current model has flown to thousands of patients over the last six years and has helped the charity respond to its highest number of activations ever, in 2017; it is now coming to the end of its operational life.

Following intensive research, Magpas selected a (AW169) helicopter, with the most advanced aviation technology, to become the new Magpas Air Ambulance. We recently launched a two-year appeal to raise £1.5 million and bring this new state of the art AW169 helicopter to the East of England and beyond. The new aircraft will be able to fly further, faster and allow the lifesaving service to reach an even greater number of patients.”

Henk Schaeken, Managing Director, Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) said “Magpas Air Ambulance is a key provider of emergency medical response in the East of England and we are delighted to maintain our close working relationship with them as they launch the extra live-saving capability which the AW169 is proving it can deliver.”

SAS has placed orders for 12 AW169s and is also an Authorized Service Centre for the AW169 in the UK, providing a range of support and maintenance services to AW169 customers. SAS has also recently been appointed as an Authorised Service Centre for the AW139 to support the growing number of customers in the UK that are operating the type. Expanding the level of customer service worldwide is part of Leonardo’s commitment indicated in the Industrial Plan launched earlier this year.

Eight AW169 helicopters are already in service or are soon to enter service with UK air ambulance charities comprising Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (2 aircraft), Children’s Air Ambulance (2 aircraft), Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Cornwall Air Ambulance and Essex & Herts Air Ambulance.

The first four AW169 air ambulances to enter service in the UK in their first year of service have performed nearly 3,000 lifesaving missions and have flown more than 2,200 hours.

A versatile, new generation twin engine light intermediate category helicopter, the 4.8 tonne AW169 has been designed in response to the growing market demand for an aircraft that delivers high performance, meets all the latest safety standards and has multi-role capabilities. The AW169 incorporates several new technology features in the rotor system, engines, avionics, transmission and electric power generation and distribution systems.

It is the first all new helicopter in its weight class in more than 30 years and has become the best-selling helicopter in it class for a wide range of applications including air ambulance, corporate/VIP transport, offshore transport and law enforcement. Over 180 AW169s are on order with nearly 60 in service worldwide.

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