Photo: airliners.net / Jerome Meryelet
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation is planning to put its recently received twin-engined, AgustaWestland 169 into offshore service – the first AW169 to operate in the global offshore oil industry.
The company is currently finalising pilot training and anticipates having the 8-seater oil and gas variant of the helicopter in service for French oil giant Total by mid-December.
Falcon took delivery of the AW169 – the first of two ordered – in October. The second AW169 is due for delivery at the end of this year but will be used for VVIP services.
Meanwhile the company says it is close to becoming a fleet leader in terms of flying hours for its two, twin-engined, medium-lift AW189s, which are in service for offshore giants Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) and Total and ad-hoc private users. “We have accumulated 2000 flying hours for this model in just 16 months of operation,” explained Falcon’s Director of Maintenance, Nicolas Tejera. Falcon took delivery of its 189s in June 2015 with the intent of making the 19-seater helicopters the backbone of its 21st century fleet upgrade.