The signing of a sales contract with AgustaWestland this month, for a new AW169, demonstrates Starspeed’s confidence that this 4th generation helicopter is a “Game Changer” for the industry.
It’s the third contract Starspeed has signed with AgustaWestland since October 2013 and the commitment is a reflection of the positive economic outlook in the VVIP sector and the company’s confidence in continued growth.
Starspeed has been operating corporate helicopters since 1978, and is the largest privately owned helicopter charter and management company in Europe. It believes that the AW169 marks a significant change in opening up new opportunities for helicopter ownership and operation.
Dr. Simon Mitchell, Director, says: “One of the most significant barriers for people who’re considering buying a helicopter for the first time, is the disproportionate relationship between the costs and time spent on maintenance and the overall costs of ownership.
“These 4th generation helicopters are new technology from the drawing-board upwards and will change all that: The latest composite structures and production techniques have brought down the initial purchase costs in real terms, the upgraded safety and reliability of major components have extended the time between overhaul and replacement by a factor of two or more, and the Maintenance Steering Group 3 (MSG-3) design philosophy has reduced the overall maintenance burden beyond recognition.”
Starspeed sees the AW169 the most important new aircraft to have come to the market in the last 20-30 years and believes it will drive significant change in the sector.
It forecasts that following Type Certification demand will rise rapidly for the AW 169 and predicts that delivery lead times will become extended.
By signing the contracts with AgustaWestland now, Starspeed will be one of the first helicopter management companies in Europe to be able to pass on the cost improvements and efficiencies in operational capabilities to both its present clients and to new customers:
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