in General Aviation

Bestfly takes delivery of new AW139

Posted 29 June 2021 · Add Comment

Angolan operator Bestfly is strengthening its offering in the helicopter market with the delivery of a pair of new Leonardo AW139s with the first being handed over this afternoon.

Bestfly's Nuno Pereira signs for the new helicopter today (Image: Bestfly)

The helicopters, leased from Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA), will be employed primarily on offshore services for the oil and gas industry, said Bestfly CEO Nuno Pereira, and will be outfitted for medevac duties. Bestfly has contracts with several major oil companies such as Total, Exxon and BP.

It is anticipated the aircraft will each fly 30 to 50 hours per month on duties including SAR, medevac and ad hoc work.

The aircraft will replace two existing seven-year-old AW139s and feature the latest upgrades to the model. They will also mark a move by the Angolan operator to having greater input into the maintenance and support of its helicopters.

Bestfly has had a close relationship in recent years with helicopter service provider Heli-Union, which has provided extensive operational and maintenance support. While Pereira emphasised that the relationship with Heli-Union remains excellent, “We are now in a transition phase by adding the new choppers,” with Angolan law stipulating that companies such as Bestfly should use more Angolan pilots and mechanics. Angolan personnel will be trained on the new machines at the Abu Dhabi Aviation Training Centre.

With competition strong in the oil and gas market, Bestfly decided to acquire the latest models of the AW139 to give itself an edge in the marketplace, said Pereira: “We’re offering a better product with brand-new machines.”

The new aircraft are “oil and gas offshore-configured”, said Dr Mark Pierotti, ADA’s commercial department director.

“They’re 7-tonne machines, more powerful and can take more weight. They have floats and state-of-the-art safety equipment that the oil and gas industry insists on.

“They’ll be based in Luanda, operating under Bestfly’s AOC, but will be owned by ADA and we will support them with pilot training in Abu Dhabi and full spare parts support.”

The aircraft will be supplied on a five-year lease that could be extended and could potentially lead to more aircraft being supplied, he added.

The venture with Bestfly is ADA’s first venture in Angola, although the company already has significant links with Africa, with aircraft located in several countries.

“It’s a fairly big market for us,” said Pierotti. “We placed two aircraft last month in Zambia and South Africa.” The company also has machines in Nigeria.

Asia and Africa are definitely a strategic interest at ADA: “We would like to develop our relationship with existing customers, but I’m also looking for more clients.”

One route to finding new customers, he said, was the Aviation Africa conference that has been held in recent years in Kigali and Addis Ababa and which is scheduled to return to the Rwandan capital again this October.

Pierotti used the event to search for new locations in which to place aircraft, as well as for new partners and lessees and “It’s starting to pay off now.”

Writes Alan Dron.
 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

AFRAA concludes its 2021 fuel programme showing significant cost savings

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has concluded its 2021 fuel programme for the period 2021-2022 under the framework of the AFRAA fuel project.

Airline industry statistics confirm 2020 was worst year on record

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released the IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) publication with performance figures for 2020 demonstrating the devastating effects on global air transport during that

Menzies Aviation adds three senior members to MEAA team

Menzies Aviation has today announced the appointment of three senior members to its Middle East, Africa and Asia (MEAA) team: John Henderson as Senior Vice President Operations MEAA, Gemma Sinclair as Vice President HR MEAA and Kevin

Air Seychelles to resume scheduled flights to Mauritius in October

Air Seychelles will be resuming scheduled passenger flights to the neighbouring island of Mauritius this October, after an absence of more than 18 months on the route.

RwandAir and Qatar Airways join forces

RwandAir and Qatar Airways have forged a new partnership. As part of the strategic agreement, the extensive interline agreement will give customers access to the networks of both airlines.

Airbus reports half-year 2021 results

Airbus has reported consolidated financial results for the half-year (H1) ended 30 June 2021.

WDS SK2601090322
See us at
WDS BT1202090322Aviation MENA 2022Aviation Africa 2021 BTOCDAS21_BT