AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, announced that Gulf Helicopters of Qatar has signed a preliminary sale contract for 15 AW189 helicopters. These aircraft will be used to perform offshore transport missions.
Bruno Spagnolini, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland, said “It gives us great pleasure to add Gulf Helicopters to the list of customers who have now chosen the AW189 to meet their future long range operational requirements only a few months after its official launch in June 2011 and its first flight in December 2011. We are delighted with the initial market response to the AW189 which enables us to offer a complete range of state-of-the-art helicopters for the commercial market. Gulf Helicopters is a major operator of the AW139 and we are confident that the AW189 will deliver the same high levels of mission capability, performance, safety and cost effectiveness.”
The AW189 was launched in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole helicopter in the 8-tonne class and has rapidly found success for long range missions, especially in the offshore oil and gas market. Entering service in early 2014, the twin engine AW189 helicopter is optimized for the long range offshore transport and SAR missions. 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.
Exceptional external visibility and the deployment of the latest in avionics technology make the AW189 the pilot’s choice. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, will reduce crew workload and enhance safety. The AW189 will meet the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). The AW189 will benefit from the extensive and expanding AgustaWestland worldwide support network already serving the offshore oil and gas industry. A comprehensive array of simulator and training devices will progressively be made available to serve the worldwide AW189 customer base.
A prime AW139 operator with 5 units on order and 13 already in operation, Gulf Helicopters is owned by Qatar Petroleum, through the holding company, Gulf International Services and General Public of State of Qatar.
Gulf Helicopters has been providing helicopter services since 1970 working with companies throughout the Middle East, India, Far East and North Africa.
Gulf Helicopters has its own in-house maintenance facility and is also an authorized service centre for AgustaWestland for their AW139s and also one of the first companies to have its own full flight simulator for the AW139 for its own and third party use.
Gulf Helicopters is also a FAA approved Repair Station and EASA approved Part 145 Maintenance Organization. The Company is in the process of obtaining EASA Part 147 Training Organization approval, which is expected shortly.