AgustaWestland's Orsi Mitsui's Aomura W250landed a $100 million deal with Japan’s Mitsui Bussan Aerospace for 12 AW139 medium twin helicopters at the show yesterday. The agreement will also see Mitsui Bussan become the exclusive distributor for the aircraft in the Japanese market.
Mitsui Bussan has three existing AW139s on order, the first of which has already been delivered to Japan and in being customised ahead of entry into service with Tokyo’s metropolitan police.
First deliveries under the contract, signed by AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi and Mitsui Bussan president Akira Aomura, will begin in 2007.
Aomura said: “This agreement is the first step in opening up the Japanese market for the aircraft. We will be talking to commercial operators as well examining potential government, corporate and passenger transport applications.”
He added that the lack of infrastructure in Japan, in particular the paucity of heliports, was a hurdle that needed to be overcome for the country to significantly increase its helicopter transportation network.
Giuseppe Orsi confirmed a change in designation from the AB139 to the AW139, which will be announced formally at HAI in Dallas next week. The change follows AgustaWestland’s purchase of Bell’s 25% share in the programme in November.

Source: Flight Daily News