Helicopter maker Leonardo (Booth 6004) is confident it is seeing the first signs of a business pickup in Brazil and throughout the region. The company already has sold 220 helicopters into the South American region, 170 of them in Brazil.
A company spokesman told AIN, “Brazil was a difficult market for all major players in 2018 due to evolving economic scenario and uncertainties within the country coupled with the Real depreciating against the dollar and the euro,” but said that the near-term outlook has brightened. “The economic success of Brazil is totally linked to some economic trends and steps expected to be taken by the [government] by the end of 2019. However, Leonardo is well positioned to pursue new opportunities in the government market.” The company said it had sold more AW169 and AW109 GrandNew twins into the Brazilian market this year.
Leonardo recorded new sales in other countries in the region in 2018 including sales of an AW119Kx and an AW109 Trekker VIP in Chile (the first Trekker sold to Chile) and AW119Kx and AW169 VIP in Argentina. The AW119 was also introduced into the Ecuadorian Air Force. It has introduced new entry-into-service and support programs into the region backing the AW169 and AW109 Trekker aircraft.
Throughout the region, Leonardo said it saw opportunities to further penetrate the military and parapublic markets with its AW119, AW109, AW169, and AW139 models.
The offshore market also is looking up as Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, announced the results of its long-awaited tender solicitation for medium and large helicopters over the next four years, with operations beginning in late 2019. Omni and Aeroleo will operate 11 AW139 medium twins for Petrobras from Macae, Cabo Frio and Jacarepagua. Leonard is also moving forward with a program to upgrade the Brazilian Navy’s fleet of Lynx helicopters.