AgustaWestland, September 28, 2010 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica Company, is pleased to announce that the first two GrandNew light twin helicopters for France and the Principality of Monaco have been delivered to their respective owners. The announcement of the deliveries was performed during an official event held by AgustaWestland and Monacair, an affiliated company of SkyGroup, in Monaco today. An evolution of the highly successful Grand helicopter, the GrandNew features the most modern developments in avionics while retaining the outstanding Grand’s characteristics. The GrandNew is the first type certified light twin (CS/JAR/FAR 27) to enter service with a new EFIS featuring Synthetic Vision and is the first helicopter in service in this class that is fully compliant with the latest advanced global positioning system-based navigation requirements for all weather operations. The GrandNew offers operators unprecedented opportunities to fully exploit the rotorcraft capabilities and sets a new standard in the helicopter market. Following its launch in February this year the GrandNew has achieved growing success in the market place with orders for over 50 units so far for a variety of applications.
These two GrandNews will be flown for passenger transport purposes and will benefit from technical support provided by Sky Maintenance Services (SMS) of France, a SkyGroup company, to maximise their operational effectiveness. These two deliveries follow the appointment of SMS as an authorized AgustaWestland Service Centre in May this year for the A109 series: AW109 Power, Grand and GrandNew light twin models. The Service Centre, based in Le Castellet in southern France, will feature a brand new hangar providing maintenance and repair services as well as maintaining a spare parts inventory for the AgustaWestland light twin models, enabling AgustaWestland to offer its growing customer base in France greater levels of customer service. SMS also has a hangar facility at the heliport in the Principality of Monaco and a base in Archamps, close to Geneva, enabling them to effectively serve two important areas where the number of AgustaWestland light twin helicopters in operation is continuing to grow. This latest step in France is part of AgustaWestland’s continuous effort to enhance its global presence through the provision of total support solutions for its customers.
The parent company SkyGroup owns several affiliated companies specialised in the provision of helicopter services including SkyCam of France, which operates and manages approximately 15 single and twin engine helicopters, and Monacair headquartered at the Principality of Monaco Heliport. SkyGroup also offers aerial photography, helicopter management, public transportation and pilot training services. Around 20 light twin helicopters have been sold by AgustaWestland in France to date and the Company sees further business opportunities in the country for its latest technology light twin range for a wide range of roles including VIP/corporate transport and emergency medical service/search and rescue.