ROME --- Leonardo and Mitsui Bussan Aerospace, the official distributor in Japan for the AW169, AW139 and AW189 helicopter models, announced yesterday a contract for four additional aircraft during an official ceremony held at the Japan Aerospace 2018 exhibition.
This contract further strengthens the partnership between Leonardo and Mitsui, and is a key factor in the continued growth of Leonardo’s fleet in the country where the AW139 is the best-seller in its segment. The AW169 light intermediate and the AW189 super medium twin-engine helicopters are the most successful new generation models in their class worldwide, paving the path for a further growth also in Japan.
Last March, Mitsui Bussan Aerospace and Leonardo renewed their Distributorship Agreement for three years. The partners also renewed a Basic Ordering Agreement to increase spare parts stock, further strengthening customer support services.
The AW139 has proven extremely successful in Japan. It performs a number of public utility roles including search and rescue and coast guard duties with the Japan Coast Guard; law enforcement, firefighting and disaster relief with the Japan National Police Agency, Tokyo Metropolitan Police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency; as well as supporting several prefectures and city authorities.
Around 130 Leonardo helicopters of various models are in service in Japan today performing a wide range of missions including law enforcement, emergency medical service, search and rescue, firefighting, disaster relief, VIP/corporate transport, electronic news gathering and naval utility.
Leonardo Japan headquarters, based in Tokyo, has been supporting the company’s growing helicopter business in the Country since 2008. The Japanese turbine helicopter market shows significant potential in the next few decades to replace ageing fleets with modern technology and up to 30 new units could enter the market every year.
With nearly 25 years of maintenance services supplied through a growing support network nationwide, also including the forthcoming setup of helicopter MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) capabilities in Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport, Leonardo is set to strengthen the level of service in the future.