AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, has delivered three new helicopters to customers in Japan in recent weeks highlighting its continued growth in this important market. The three new helicopters include the first AW119 Ke to be delivered in Japan and examples of the AW109 Power and AW139.
The first AW119Ke 8-place single engine helicopter was ordered April 2009 by a private customer and is now in service as a VIP transport helicopter based in Kitakyushu, southern Japan. The AW119 Ke is the latest AgustaWestland helicopter to be certified by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau following the A109 family, AW109 Power and AW139 models that are already in service with commercial and government agencies in the country.
Alpen Co. Ltd of Japan has also taken delivery of an AW109 Power light twin helicopter which will be used for VIP/corporate transport purposes and operated from Nagoya. This latest delivery continues the exceptional success of the AW109 Power in the Japanese helicopter market, with 35 units having been sold in the country mainly for VIP/corporate transport and law enforcement applications. Established in Nagoya in 1972, Alpen Co. Ltd is a leading manufacturer and retailer of ski equipment as well as other sporting goods and also operates a number of ski resorts and golf courses.
The third helicopter to be delivered is an AW139 medium twin helicopter for All Nippon Helicopter (ANH) to perform electronic news gathering (ENG) missions and is their second ENG AW139. ANH is conducting ENG operations exclusively for Nippon Housou Kyoukai (NHK), Japan’s national public broadcasting organisation. The selection of the AW139 by ANH marked the entrance of the AW139 into the Japanese civil helicopter market and the first AW139 dedicated to electronic news gathering operations. All Nippon Helicopter (ANH), part of the All Nippon Airways Group, has 11 bases throughout Japan, from Sapporo in the North to Okinawa in the Far South, providing crew and maintenance technicians 24 hours per day on stand-by for urgent news gathering missions.
AgustaWestland opened a new regional business headquarters in Tokyo in 2008 in support of its growing business in Japan where it has become a major supplier of helicopters to both the commercial and government markets. The commercial helicopter fleet in Japan is also supported by three official service centres which provide spare parts, maintenance and repair services.