AgustaWestland, October 06, 2015 - AgustaWestland announced today that the two AW189 super medium twin engine helicopters operated by Bel Air of Denmark have recently exceeded 2000 flight hours, with the first aircraft reaching 1200 and the second unit achieving 1000, setting a new milestone while demonstrating exceptional availability and mission effectiveness.
The first helicopter had exceeded 600 flight hours in June, becoming the global fleet leader.
This outstanding result was possible through the strong cooperation between the operator and the manufacturer’s customer support team. Bel Air’s AW189s perform long range offshore transport missions in the North Sea, and in October 2014 the customer signed a contract for a third aircraft. The operator has also opted for the 8.6 tonne Maximum Gross Weight upgrade to give its customers greater levels of payload.
An existing AW139 operator with a total requirement for four units of this type, Bel Air is benefitting from the unique operational, training, support and management advantages of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters, thanks to the introduction of the AW189 model into their fleet. This all new approach to effective, flexible and efficient fleet management is supporting Bel Air as it expands its operations in support of the North Sea oil and gas industry, as well as carrying out offshore wind turbine support and ad hoc helicopter services.
The AW189 was designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium twin engine helicopter. The new 8.3/8.6 tonne AW189 is optimized for offshore transport and SAR missions and approximately 150 helicopters have been sold, including firm orders, options and framework contracts, making it the outright market leader in its class. Almost 20 AW189s are today in service in a wide range of demanding operational conditions in the North Sea as well as in the Middle East and South East Asia.
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. The AW189 is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW169 and AW139 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more effective missions for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 9 tonne weight categories.
About Bel Air: Bel Air Aviation A/S was established in 1994 and is a Danish owned offshore helicopter company. It has its main base at Esbjerg Airport and operates offshore flights there to offshore oil and gas installations as well as wind farms in the North Sea. Bel Air is also the official AgustaWestland Service Centre for the AW139 in Denmark and will soon also be for the AW189.