AgustaWestland, December 10, 2014 - AgustaWestland announced today that Gulf Helicopters of Qatar celebrated the entry into service of its first batch of AW189 super medium helicopters during an official ceremony held on November 23rd in presence of national authorities and representatives from the industry.
Four AW189s have now been delivered and entered service, with two aircraft supporting offshore oil and gas operations in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean. Gulf Helicopters has a total of fifteen AW189s on order with deliveries scheduled to be completed by 2017.
Gulf Helicopters, already a major AW139 operator, became the first customer in the Middle East to introduce the AgustaWestland Family concept into operational service.
Gulf Helicopters was also established as an AgustaWestland Authorized Training Centre for the AW139 and AW189 in September 2013 and ordered the first AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) in the region in February 2014.
This event is a further step forward for the new generation AW189, following the type’s entry into service with customers in Europe and Asia that provide offshore transport services.
The AW189 was designed in response to growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole super medium class helicopter.
The new 8.3 tonne, twin-engine helicopter is optimized for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received over 130 orders, including options and framework agreements, in more than 10 countries from almost 20 customers, making it the outright market leader in its class.
The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard with the option for a high density 18 seat layout or a long range 12 seat configuration. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, reduces crew workload and enhances safety.
The AW189 meets the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). 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.
A comprehensive range of support and training services for the type have been developed including virtual and ground maintenance trainers, AW189 Flight Training Device (FTD) and AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) systems to assist the entry into service of this new generation helicopter.
Gulf Helicopters is a subsidiary of Gulf International Services, Q.S.C. Gulf Helicopters has provided helicopter services since 1970 and operates with companies throughout the Middle East, India and North Africa.
Gulf Helicopters has its own in-house maintenance facility with a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers undertaking fleet maintenance and modification work. Gulf Helicopters is also an AgustaWestland Authorized Service Centre and AgustaWestland Authorized Training Centre, being one of the first helicopter companies to have its own AW139 FFS to support its own operations and for third party use.