Falcon Aviation Services (FAS) has signed for another three Leonardo Helicopters AW169s, taking to five its fleet of the medium-twins.
Due for delivery in the first quarter of 2018, the rotorcraft will be deployed on an oil and gas contract in an undisclosed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country.
Three helicopters are needed to provide the round-the-clock coverage required by the customer, says Capt Raman Oberoi, FAS chief operating officer.
It plans to use one aircraft for offshore transportation, one for 24/7 medevac operations and the third as a reserve.
The trio are being taken on lease via Milestone Aviation and a further sub-lease from Leonardo, says Oberoi.
A number of other helicopter platforms were considered for the contract, he says, before FAS settled on the AW189.
"We felt that for the country we were going to the [AW]139 was overkill – we believe that this product is better suited to the job."
FAS already operates a number of Leonardo types, including the AW189 and Grand/GrandNew models, as well as a VIP-configured AW169.