LCI, the aviation division of the Libra Group, has delivered a new AugustaWestland AW139 helicopter to SFS Aviation in Asia.
SFS Aviation, the first operator of the AW139 in Thailand, has leased the helicopter as part of a medium-term commitment, and it will be used by to provide offshore support services to a number of multi-national oil companies in the Gulf of Thailand, such as PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) and CPOC.
The new aircraft, which was delivered recently, is the fourth in SFS Aviation’s growing fleet of AgustaWestland helicopters based at Songkhla in southern Thailand. SFS Aviation also has a further commitment for four AW189 aircraft, which will enable it to enjoy the commonality benefits across the AugustaWestland family of new generation helicopters. SFS Aviation has 23 years’ experience in helicopter operations and is the only operator in Thailand which is 100% Thai-owned. The company has a zero accident operating history and is a leader in the implementation of Safety Management Systems, investing in safety over and above regulatory requirements. AgustaWestland has recognised the operations and support capabilities of SFS Aviation by appointing them as an authorised service centre for the region.
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, says: “The delivery of the market-leading AW139 to SFS Aviation cements a relationship with one of the key helicopter operators in Asia. SFS Aviation is committed to developing a modern fleet of new-generation helicopters and we are pleased to be supporting that growth through the flexibility of an operating lease.”
Chira Ratanarat, Chairman of SFS Aviation, adds: “The acquisition of a new AW139 is the latest part of our fleet development programme which allows us to offer the highest standards of service to our clients in Thailand. The trend for our customers here is to go further offshore and the AW139 allows us to cover these longer distances with the greatest possible efficiency and safety, while ensuring our passengers travel in the comfort offered by AugustaWestland’s new-generation helicopters”.
This delivery marks the latest aircraft service entry for LCI’s new helicopter division, which was launched in 2012 with a $400m order for a mixed fleet of AgustaWestland AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters.