AgustaWestland flexed its market muscle yesterday, announcing orders for 46 helicopters and emphasizing that the commercial helicopters division of parent company Finnmecanica is now a separate business unit reporting directly to AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi.
Speaking at the AgustaWestland press breakfast here yesterday, Orsi disclosed that
buyers placed orders for 274 civil helicopters last year (almost twice as many as in 2005) and the company delivered 170 helicopters (40 more than it shipped in 2005).
Coming off a record sales year in 2006, AgustaWestland is sitting on new orders valued at about $5.287 billion and an $11.235 billion backlog.
Based on current estimates, said Renzo Lunardi, senior v-p of the commercial business unit, AgustaWestland’s commercial revenues represented 16 percent of the company’s total revenues in 2004. He added that he expects that percentage to reach 40 percent in 2010. Taking a closer look at the company’s current-production aircraft, Lunardi added that:
• The company has orders for 110 Koala A119s from 55 customers in 18 countries.
• There are orders for 390 A109 Powers from customers in 45 countries and 300 aircraft are already in service.
• Orders have been placed for 120 stretch versions of the A109, known as the Grand, from 77 customers in 23 countries.
• AgustaWestland has 210 orders from 70 customers in 33 countries and a second production line has been opened in the company’s Philadelphia assembly plant. Production is expected to reach 90 aircraft a year by 2009.
Yesterday at Heli-Expo, AgustaWestland announced the sale of 22 helicopters. Toluca-based Aerolineas Ejecutivas enhanced its distributorship role in Mexico with an order for seven aircraft–two A109 Powers, two Grands, two AW119 Kes and one AW139.
From Ireland, Sloane Helicopters, within the framework of the multi-year contract and distribution agreement signed in February 2006 for acquisition of a minimum of 44 helicopters, firmed up orders for 13 to be delivered over the next three years. The order is in addition to an order of 10 aircraft last year.
Latin America’s Synergy Aerospace firmed up orders for the acquisition of 10 helicopters, consisting of a mix of the AW119 Ke, the A109 Power, the Grand and the AW139. It is in addition to a previous order for eight AgustaWestland helicopters last year. They will be used primarily for corporate/VIP and offshore transport.
Finally, the Los Angeles Fire Department has placed an order for two AW139 medium twin helicopters to perform fire-fighting missions in the Los Angeles area. They are the first AW 139 aircraft to be purchased by the LAFD and the deal also marks the entry of the AW139 into a fire-fighting role.
Orsi emphasized the need for AgustaWestland to “get close to the customer.” To that end, the company expects to expand its total number of information centers, distributors and support and service facilities to 200 by the end of 2009.
It is time, said Orsi, for a new era in leadership, with a view to the long-term future, “with our feet in the present and our heads in the future.”