Leonardo delivers 1,000th AW139

There was big news out of Leonardo this week, with the 1,000th AW139 aircraft rolling off the production line. So how many more are on the way?

The last time we were talking milestones for the AW139, the worldwide fleet had just notched up 2 million flight hours and 900 aircraft had been delivered.

Those figures have continued to head upwards, even surpassing Leonardo’s own expectations for the helicopter. Leonardo CEO Alessandro Profumo admitted to AIN Online that the company initially hoped to sell 400 of the aircraft – they’ve since reached 1,000 and the figure is still climbing.

The AW139 now accounts for 25% of the twin-engine helicopter market and this dominance presents many opportunities for maintenance engineers with an AW139 licence.




AW139 employment opportunities for maintenance engineers

With another 100 AW139s currently on order, the global fleet is still set to expand by 10%. Percentage-wise, they’re pretty promising growth stats.

So where will you find these AW139s in operation? Leonardo has revealed the key operating regions, and they are:

  • Europe (around 30%)
  • Asia and Australasia (around 30%)
  • Americas (around 15%)
  • Middle East (less than 15%)

And what jobs can you get in those regions? We’re happy to report that Leonardo has also shared the global breakdown of industry usage:

  • 30% public use (search and rescue, air ambulance, policing, firefighting and disaster relief)
  • 30% offshore transport
  • 20% military
  • 20% VIP, institutional and corporate transport

This versatility has played a key factor in the popularity of the aircraft. In Australia, the AW139 is primarily used for search and rescue and offshore transport, and the main operators include Babcock, Bristow, CHC, LifeFlight, ESSO/ExxonMobil, QGAir, Victoria Police and Toll.

If you’re keen to learn more about working on the AW139, see our chat with HeliTSA graduate James Courtney. He had an interview for a full-time AW139 touring role the day after completing our course and has been in the role ever since.

Our thanks to Salvatore Sanfilippo for allowing us to share the top image.