While AgustaWestland (Booth No. 1320) continues the integration of its two ancestral helicopter companies–Italy’s Agusta and the UK’s Westland, joined together under Italian industrial giant Finmeccanica in 2000–it is also concentrating on presenting a single corporate face in the marketplace.
“Part of the integration process is a rebranding that will present all our facilities as AgustaWestland, followed by the place of business,” said company president Giuseppe Orsi at HeliExpo earlier this year. “For example,” he said, “the new plant being built in Philadelphia will be known as AgustaWestland Philadelphia. Also, all new helicopter product model numbers, starting with the 139, will carry the AW prefix.”
In February, AgustaWestland announced the rebranding of the AB139 to the AW139, reflecting the strategic decision to take full control of the program after it bought back Bell Helicopter’s share. The AW139 order book stands at almost 180 units from 57 customers, making it, according to AgustaWestland, the best-selling helicopter in its category.
Here at EBACE, the company is featuring the medium-twin AW139 and the smaller twin-engine Grand (an upgrade of the A109 Power).
The Grand has received nearly 80 orders, with 38 percent of these from Europe. The company plans to increase production of the light twin to 22 aircraft this year and to 25 next year. Here in Geneva the company announced the delivery of the first Grand in Brazil, to Cosan SA. The customer will use the helicopter, configured with a six-passenger VIP interior, to shuttle people between its plants and distilleries.
In 2005 AgustaWestland showed an increase in orders, expressed in total value, of 100 percent over 2004. Also last year, the company took orders for 162 aircraft (46 percent were corporate/VIP) and delivered 121.