Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced that the first AW189 super medium twin engine helicopter operated by Bel Air of Denmark has become the global fleet leading AW189, exceeding 600 flight hours in just six months of operation while demonstrating exceptional availability and mission effectiveness. A total fleet of 16 AW189s have been delivered to date to customers in Europe, Middle East and Asia and the fleet has now flown more than 3500 flight hours. The AW189 is also expected to soon enter service in Africa and North America.
Bel Air has two AW189s in service performing long range offshore transport missions in the North Sea, and in October 2015 signed a contract for a third aircraft. The event marks a milestone for the first new generation aircraft in its category in decades and for the helicopter that has become the outright market leader in its class.
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.
Susanne Hesselund, Bel Air Managing Director, said “At Bel Air we are very proud to be fleet leader worldwide on the AW189. This has only been possible thanks to the great cooperation we have had with the experts from AgustaWestland and support from the whole AgustaWestland team. Bel Air has upgraded to 8.6 ton giving our customers the best possible payload. We have now accomplished an amazing 1000 flight hours on the type for DONG Energy and Hess Denmark.”
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.