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Paris Air Show: Leonardo grows market share

10th June 2019 - 12:00 GMT | by Tim Martin in London


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Leonardo is anticipating continued civil market success after business in 2018 saw the company lead deliveries across industry.

On the delivery front, for example, Italy’s national fire corps received two AW139 intermediate twin helicopters in April, part of a €45m three-aircraft deal, initially agreed between the two parties in December 2018.

‘That was a huge milestone for us and we also expanded our market share to 40%’ Paul de Jonge, VP marketing at Leonardo Helicopters, explained.

The delivery of the 1,000th AW139 is also set to take place before the end of the year, though de Jonge did not disclose which customer would receive the aircraft.

Elsewhere, the AW169 medium twin production has increased with 60 aircraft currently in service, mainly across the EMS and VIP/corporate markets.

The helicopter’s footprint is ‘expanding’ in the oil and gas market too, according to de Jonge, adding that the global AW169 fleet has now covered 28,000 flight hours.

When discussing business of the heavier AW189 super-medium; he conceded that Leonardo, like its competitors, remain ‘victims of the current economy’.

Despite that assessment, de Jonge stressed that the manufacturer is convinced it has ‘the right platform for the market’ including all of the features required and requested by oil and gas customers.

‘It’s definitely the more competitive from a price point of view,’ he commented, though no unit or operational costs were mentioned.

If oil and gas business is a concern, so too is the fact that a first customer for the newer AW189K has yet to be found.

‘We don’t have any customers [ for the K model at the moment], we are working with some that are interested and who are already operating 189s,’ de Jonge told Shephard.  

Progress of AW189K testing and certifications continues steadily, with certification of the Safran-built Aneto 1K on schedule for July 2019, while full aircraft certification is expected before the end of 2019, with initial deliveries taking place after the turn of the year.

Currently, 60 AW189 helicopters are operational, with the international fleet having reached 60,000 flight hours, according to Leonardo.

Certification for the in-development AW609 tiltrotor remains on target for the end of the year, with Leonardo identifying market opportunities for the aircraft in Japan, Australia and potentially UK SAR services for coastguard missions. 

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