Leonardo: Abu Dhabi Aviation expands its AW139 offshore fleet with an order for an additional six helicopters

Rome,  09 March 2023 09:16

Aircraft deliveries are expected in the 2024-2026 timeframe to support energy industry operations 

A 15-year partnership between Leonardo and Abu Dhabi Aviation sees total orders of 33 helicopters to date and ten years of delivering comprehensive support services through the local JV  


Leonardo announced at Heli-Expo 2023 (Atlanta, 7-9 March) that Abu Dhabi Aviation (ADA) has signed a contract to procure six AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters. The aircraft are expected to be delivered in the 2024-2026 timeframe and will be used to perform offshore transport missions further expanding ADA’s AW139 fleet primarily supporting the energy industry. These latest aircraft will also allow ADA to achieve compliance with the latest OGP guidelines. 

Gian Piero Cutillo, MD Leonardo Helicopters, said: “This contract further strengthens the partnership between Leonardo and ADA, which has constantly grown over the years both in terms of latest generation platform supply and advanced customer support services. It further confirms the AW139’s presence in the Middle East and in the world’s energy industry market as the benchmark helicopter in its category”.

“Fleet strategy is very important to ADA as we plan for the future. This purchase of additional AW139s will ensure ADA has a state-of-the-art capable aircraft to support our continued growth in the industry”, said Abu Dhabi Aviation.  

Leonardo and ADA have been collaborating for over 15 years with the operator acquiring a total of 33 aircraft to date, most of which are AW139s. In 2022, ADA signed for three AW139s with the first aircraft already delivered and two are expected to be handed over in spring this year, providing further evidence of the solid collaboration with Leonardo and ADA’s confidence in the types’ growing capabilities. The addition of the AW169 light intermediate twin engine type in recent years represented the best possible complement to the AW139 leveraging the unique AWFamily advantages with a similar design philosophy and latest certification and safety standards. Recently, ADA set a 10,000 flight hour milestone with its Leonardo helicopter fleet over the last year as they near a total of 100,000 flight hours by next summer. 

The ADA’s fleet of Leonardo helicopters was extended to comprehensive localised support, maintenance and overhaul services in United Arab Emirates (UAE) around ten years ago with the establishment of the AgustaWestland Aviation Services Joint Venture and subsequently training and simulation capabilities.

Abu Dhabi Aviation is a national shareholding company and the largest commercial helicopter operator in MENA region, established in 1976. The company owns a fleet of nearly 60 aircrafts, including more than 50 helicopters and several fixed-wing aircrafts. ADA also operates aircrafts for various entities. ADA has won multiple international aviation awards. It has completed more than 1,000,000 safe flying hours. ADA was the very first rotary wing AOC in the UAE established in 1976. ADA is the leading helicopter operator & maintainer in the MENA region conducting oil & gas on shore, off shore operations as well as HEMS, VIP transport & many other aviation services in the UAE & also World Wide. ADA is also a capable Leonardo MRO with both base, line & shop capability. 

The world’s most important helicopter programme since its certification in 2004 and the bestselling type in its category, the AW139 has logged orders for over 1,250 units from more than 290 operators in over 80 countries to date for all missions. The global AW139 fleet has exceeded 3.6 million flight hours logged to date. The type features state-of-the-art avionics with advanced navigation and collision avoidance systems to enhance situational awareness and reduce pilots’ workload, unmatched speed, power margins and overall performance, the widest cabin in its category featuring high modularity for rapid reconfiguration, a unique 60+ min run-dry capable main gear box for enhanced reliability and safety and up to 1000 certified kits.