EBACE 2024: Leonardo strengthens its role in the VIP-CORPORATE helicopter market with new AW09 single engine distributorship agreements and multiple-types orders

Rome,  29 May 2024 14:46

AW09 single engine helicopter distributors appointed in Europe, with plans for a further reinforcement of the new type in the region 

New VIP-Corporate AW109/AW169/AW139 helicopter orders in India as interest for the AW09 in the country grows further 


Leonardo and key partners from the passenger transport sector in Europe and Asia have announced new progress in introducing modern rotorcraft technologies and capabilities to deliver the best service and safety in their respective markets meeting diverse emerging requirements. The announcements were made during a dedicated event at EBACE 2024 (Geneva, 28-30 May). 

Léman Aviation and Sloane have been appointed official distributors for the next generation AW09 single engine helicopter. In February of this year Sloane and Leonardo announced a major reinforcement of their collaboration in the UK and Ireland commercial helicopter market, dating back to 1995, with the signing of preliminary sales contracts for nine AW09s. This step extended the AW09’s world market reach to the relevant geography. Sloane has been closely looking at the development and progress of the all-new single engine in recent years and is convinced it will become the benchmark aircraft in its category, along with their current Leonardo light category aircraft offerings. 

Headquartered in Switzerland and France with a strong presence in Monaco and the French Riviera, delivering world-class helicopter services at the industry's highest standards, Léman Aviation signed Preliminary Sales Contract for ten AW09s in late 2023. This deal extended the market reach of the new type to Europe following announcements of partnerships and distribution agreements already made in North and Latin America, and Asia in 2023, some leading to end-user orders. As the distributorship agreement is in place, a first private end-user customer from France has also ordered one aircraft through Léman Aviation for passenger transport duties, therefore becoming the launch customer for the type in the country.  

Moreover, Leonardo and Blueberry Aviation, a leading private company that offers a wide array of services to operators, owners, financiers and investors in the fixed wing aircraft and helicopter sectors, are in advance talks to extend their collaboration in Central/Southern Europe to include the AW09 in their portfolio and achieve the distributorship in these regions. 

At EBACE, Universal Vulkaan Aviation Pte Limited, appointed as Leonardo’s distributor for the Indian civil helicopter market earlier this year, signed preliminary sales contracts for five AW09s, growing the success of the new single engine in Asia. Furthermore, Universal Vulkaan Aviation Pte Limited also signed a contract for three helicopters including one AW109 GrandNew, one AW169 and one AW139 with deliveries expected between 2025 and 2026. This order is part of a framework agreement to procure ten units from these three twin-engine types over three years. This collaboration underscores the partners’ commitment to providing cutting-edge aviation solutions tailored to the Indian market's evolving needs, considering the country’s booming civil aviation sector and the increasing demand for reliable transportation solutions.

Stefano Villanti, SVP Marketing & Sales at Leonardo Helicopters said: “The achievements and discussions held at EBACE leading to these multiple announcements testify once more our further growing competitiveness in the VIP-Corporate market, not only in the multi-engine segments but also with the growing level of endorsement for and interest in the AW09 single engine. This means we’re extending the reach of our value proposition to a greater community of passenger transport users and service providers by type and region and we’re doing so at a steady pace. We’re extremely happy with what we see and the level of acceptance we keep receiving with our modern, safe and increasingly sustainable technology and with our exclusive ‘Agusta’ brand.”  

The AW09 continues to generate a positive response from all geographies worldwide as the programme development progresses. Rotorcraft companies and private operators highly welcome the AW09 for its outstanding characteristics and multirole capabilities that represent a significant evolution compared to existing products in this category. The AW09 perfectly complements Leonardo’s product range in the Long Light Single-segment, introducing an all-new design aircraft to sustain long-term competitive positioning in this weight category. Also, designed as a true digital helicopter and connected from day one, the AW09 will allow data transmission, gathering and analysis for technical support, scheduled maintenance and flight efficiency/safety capabilities with no equals on the single engine market. The total number of preliminary sales for the AW09 is exceeding 100 units globally and keeps growing steadily. 

Joining now the Agusta-branded range of VIP/corporate-configured types in Leonardo’s portfolio translates into an even more significant benefit in this segment combining the superior features of the AW09 in the long-light single engine segment in terms of cabin space/modularity, and technology with the distinguished customization, comfort, and passenger experience and service characteristics. A full-scale Agusta-branded mock-up is on display at the Leonardo booth at EBACE, attracting lots of interest within the rotorcraft community thanks to its distinguished features in cabin space, modularity and ergonomics, and external footprint.