On July 5th 2016, Southern Vietnam Helicopter Company (VNH South) accepted a new AgustaWestland AW189 (serial 49029) at Vungtau airport after a ferry flight from Malaysia. VNH South has signed a lease contract on this helicopter for six months, along with a further option for another six months.
This is a brand new helicopter which was manufactured in 2015 and fully equipped with offshore equipment, completely similar to the configuration of AW189 owned by VNH South.
The operator has said that this lease is primarily to cover for grounded AS332L2 and EC225 helicopters in their fleet after the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam followed the EASA lead in grounding the types. This was the result of an accident to a CHC EC225 off the Norwegian city of Bergen on 29th April, and the subsequent investigation by the Accident Investigation Bureau of Norway.
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