Leonardo is strengthening its leading position in the super medium helicopter market by announcing the launch customer for the all new AW189K variant. Gulf Helicopters of Qatar, a major force in the offshore transport sector and an established AW139 and AW189 operator, will introduce the AW189K into service in the second half of 2020. The AW189 has already demonstrated it is one of the Company’s most successful models through its sales, deliveries and flight hours.
Powered by a pair of latest generation Safran Helicopter Engines’ Aneto-1K 2,500 shp class turboshafts, the AW189K offers the market a further option for efficient long range, high endurance and large capacity operations with lower operating costs compared to larger, heavier types. The AW189K delivers a high level of performance, particularly in hot & high conditions, and is ideally suited to meet customer requirements across a range of geographies, including the Middle East where Leonardo plays a leading role for various missions with its modern product portfolio. Applications which will benefit from the AW189K’s outstanding performance include offshore, SAR, parapublic and fire-fighting, and VIP transport.
The selection of the AW189K by Gulf Helicopters, the launch customer of the AW189 in the offshore market back in 2014, once more provides clear evidence of the customer’s trust with Leonardo’s products to meet its stringent operational requirements. The new model, currently under development with over 350 flight hours logged to date, has shown excellent capabilities in a wide range of demanding weight, altitude and temperature conditions.
Approximately 70 AW189s are in service worldwide today carrying out long range offshore, search and rescue, VIP transport, MEDEVAC, disaster relief and fire-fighting operations and have logged over 74,000 flight hours.
Gulf Helicopters is a subsidiary of Gulf International Services, Q.S.C. The company has provided helicopter services since 1970 and operates with companies throughout the Middle East, India, North Africa and Europe. Gulf Helicopters has its own in-house maintenance facility with a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers undertaking helicopters maintenance on airframe and engines for Gulf Helicopters Fleet and for third parties, modification work and third level maintenance activities on helicopters components. Gulf Helicopters first ordered the AW139 in 2007 for offshore transport missions as part of its fleet renewal and expansion plans.
Gulf Helicopters is also a Leonardo authorised service centre for AW139s, AW189s and AW109s and is one of the first helicopter companies to have its own AW139 and AW189 full flight simulator to support its operations and for third party use. Additionally, Gulf Helicopters was established as a Leonardo Authorized Training Centre for the type in September 2013. Today Gulf Helicopters operates twenty AW139s and five AW189s and is therefore benefitting from the unique advantage of the Leonardo family of new generation helicopters.