DOHA, QATAR - Gulf International Services (“GIS” or “the group”; QE: GISS), the largest service group in Qatar, with interests in a broad cross-section of industries, ranging from insurance, re-insurance, fund management, onshore and offshore drilling, accommodation barge, helicopter transportation, and catering services, is pleased to announce the delivery of the first two AW189 super medium helicopters in offshore configuration to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Gulf Helicopters. Gulf Helicopters has a total of fifteen AW189s on order and the delivery of the whole batch of aircraft is now scheduled to be completed by 2017.
Gulf Helicopters, already a major AW139 operator, becomes the first customer in the Middle East to introduce the AgustaWestland Family concept into operational service. Gulf Helicopters was also established as an AgustaWestland Authorized Training Centre for the AW139 and AW189 in September 2013 and ordered the first AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) in the region in February 2014.
Mr. Mohamed Al Mohannadi, Chief Executive Officer of Gulf Helicopters said, ”I am delighted to strengthen our relationship with AgustaWestland and our recent acceptance of delivery of our first two AW 189 is based not only on our marketing strategy for the future of the company’s expansion, but also on our customers’ requests for such a helicopter size. Our AW189s are already committed for one of our major clients. Gulf Helicopters has obtained bank loans with very competitive interest rate from local banks. These two deliveries are in line with Gulf Helicopter’s expansion plans, and specially cater to contracting with international oil companies outside of Qatar, which is expected to increase the company’s revenue and profitability. Gulf Helicopters, being one of the largest helicopter operators in the Middle East, is also building on our training capabilities in general and is also developing further as an AgustaWestland Training Center and a Regional Hub, in particular.”
The AW189 was designed in response to growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole super medium class helicopter. The new 8.3 ton, twin engine helicopter is optimized for long range offshore transport and SAR missions and has already received over 130 orders, including options and framework agreements, in more than 10 countries from 15 customers, making it the outright market leader in its class.
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. The cockpit design, incorporating the latest in advanced situational awareness technologies, reduces crew workload and enhances safety. The AW189 meets the very latest international regulatory safety requirements (EASA / FAA Part 29, JAR OPS 3 / EU-OPS). The AW189 is unique in having a 50 minute ‘run-dry’ capable main gear box, exceeding current certification standards and offering unmatched safety and reliability for long range offshore operations.
The AW189 is part of the AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters that includes the AW169 and AW139 models, which possess the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features as well as sharing a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept. This commonality will allow more cost effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets across the 4 to 8.5 ton categories.
A comprehensive range of support and training services for the type have been developed including virtual and ground maintenance trainers, an AW189 Flight Training Device (FTD) and an AW189 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) to assist the entry into service of this new generation super medium twin engine helicopter.
Gulf Helicopters is a subsidiary of Gulf International Services, Q.S.C. Gulf Helicopters has provided helicopter services since 1970 and operates with companies throughout the Middle East, India and North Africa. Gulf Helicopters has its own in-house maintenance facility with a team of highly qualified and experienced engineers undertaking fleet maintenance and modification work. Gulf Helicopters is also an AgustaWestland Authorized Service Centre and AgustaWestland Authorized Training Centre, being one of the first helicopter companies to have its own AW139 FFS to support its own operations and for third party use.