MARIGNANE, France, 9 May 2014. Airbus Helicopters delivered its EC225 workhorse rotorcraft to SonAir, expanding the company’s presence in the African oil and gas heli-lift market. SonAir officials plan to deploy the long-range helicopter on operations in Angola.
This latest aircraft joins SonAir’s Airbus Helicopters-built fleet of heavy helicopters that includes 11 EC225s, four AS332 L2s, and three AS365 N3s.
As a subsidiary of the Sonangol Group – a structured aviation service provider in Angola, and the largest African helicopter operator – SonAir will use the newly delivered EC225 in oil and gas transport duties with an existing customer.
SonAir is in the process of adding a total of five additional EC225s to its inventory, three of which will be leased from Milestone Aviation Group. Two others will be owned outright by SonAir, permitting the company to initiate heli-lift business with three new partners and two existing customers.
“The expansion of SonAir’s EC225 fleet underscores their confidence in this powerful helicopter for highly-demanding missions,” says Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury. “It reinforces our long term relationship and our commitment to fully support their growing activity in Africa.”
Joining today’s EC225 delivery ceremony were executives that included SonAir CEO João Andrade.
“By growing our fleet, SonAir will benefit from the EC225’s performance, range and power,” Andrade explains. “We look forward to continuing to serve our customers with one of the best aircraft in oil and gas helicopter transportation.”
The EC225 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft in Airbus Helicopters’ Super Puma family. With more than 300,000 flight hours logged in worldwide service to date, it is deployed in duties ranging from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to search and rescue (SAR), parapublic operations, and military missions.