Angolan helicopter operator SonAir on Monday received a new EC225 helicopter from Airbus Helicopters for serving the oil and gas heli-lift market.
The aircraft was handed over during a ceremony in Marignane, France. 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, while two others will be owned outright by SonAir, permitting the company to initiate heli-lift business with three new partners and two existing customers, Airbus Helicopters said.
“The expansion of SonAir’s EC225 fleet underscores their confidence in this powerful helicopter for highly-demanding missions,” said Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury. “It reinforces our long term relationship and our commitment to fully support their growing activity in Africa.”
SonAir CEO João Andrade said that, “By growing our fleet, SonAir will benefit from the EC225’s performance, range and power. We look forward to continuing to serve our customers with one of the best aircraft in oil and gas helicopter transportation.”
SonAir’s existing EC225s were grounded last year following a gearbox issue with the EC225 but were the first in the world to resume passenger flights following a gearbox fix.
SonAir has a total of 11 EC225s located at its Luanda, Angola, operating base, of which nine are dedicated to crew-change missions for offshore oil and gas platforms. SonAir’s Eurocopter fleet of aircraft also includes four AS332 L2 and three AS365 N3 helicopters.