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Rotorcraft Asia 2019: Leonardo’s AW139 reaches out in Asia

10th April 2019 - 11:00 GMT | by Helen Haxell in Singapore

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Leonardo Helicopters, first time exhibitor at Rotorcraft Asia 2019, is looking to grow its AW139 reach in Asia-Pacific and hopes the AW189 will follow a similar path to success in the region.

The worldwide fleet of the AW139 comprises more than 1,000 helicopters spanning both civil and military sectors; of this total, around 900 aircraft are operational.

‘The AW139 has a strong presence [in Asia-Pacific] and is dominant in the civil, VIP, oil and gas, parapublic and police sectors,’ Vincenzo Alaimo, VP Asia-Pacific global sales at Leonardo, told Shephard.

The twin-engine helicopter has a strong footprint in Australia, helped by ‘tremendous growth in the EMS market’.

The type is also popular for other missions, however; in February 2019, Leonardo announced that three AW139s had been ordered by the Victoria Police Air Wing’s fleet as part of its modernisation programme.

Also, in March of this year, Leonardo signed a contract for five new helicopters – three AW169s and two AW139s – with Malaysian offshore transportation company Weststar Aviation Services.

The reach of the helicopter also extends into Thailand in the form of a military version, with the Royal Thai Army taking delivery of two AW139s in early 2014.

‘Asia-Pacific is an important region, it has been an area of growth for the last few years. We are looking to maintain this growth as it is an important market and we have the right products,’ Alaimo explained.

Seeking to grow its AW189 fleet, in South Korea, the Seoul Fire Department is now commencing operations with the model, while the Tokyo Fire Department will follow suit with a single example due in service.

One country Leonardo is looking to expand its portfolio into is Indonesia; an AW169 is expected to be delivered in VIP configuration to an operator there this quarter. 

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