9-Mar-2017 Source: Waypoint Leasing
Waypoint Leasing (Ireland) Limited (“Waypoint”), the largest independent global helicopter leasing company, today announced in technical partnership with Eagle, a leading global helicopter solutions provider, the establishment of an aircraft reconfiguration program, the Waypoint Medium Utility Helicopter (“MUH”) for legacy AW139 variants for use in support of a range of utility mission areas, including: firefighting, light EMS/SAR, mining, powerline support, and general aerial work and transportation services.
The Waypoint MUH will primarily focus on enhancing the performance of older “short nose” model AW139s through significant empty weight reduction and mission-specific modular equipment installations, thereby allowing the repurposed aircraft to operate with more payload capability, and increased range and greater flexibility. The significant pool of early vintage short-nose models are ideally suited for the high performance needs of utility end-users, in addition to the work they currently support.
“This innovative program is another example of Waypoint’s ability to differentiate itself in the market and broaden our service offerings to meet the increased demands of utility customers around the world,” said David Gorsky, Waypoint’s Senior Vice President, Operations & Technical. “The AW139 is an exceptional, versatile aircraft, and we believe that the effective reconfiguration of legacy models will significantly enhance its operational capabilities and performance across an array of utility missions.”
“Reconfiguring an aircraft traditionally used for oil and gas to meet the growing demand for a range of utility missions underscores the aircraft’s versatility and Waypoint’s ability to listen to our customers and provide creative and flexible solutions to meet their needs,” added Clark McGinn, Waypoint’s Senior Vice President, Sales & Relationship Management. “Keeping aircraft operating in secondary missions ultimately brings down costs for the entire industry. We look forward to collaborating with Eagle on this program to redefine what’s possible for an independent, operator-focused lessor such as Waypoint.”
“The MUH program allows us to harness Waypoint’s technical expertise with our extensive overhaul know-how to provide utility operators with repurposed AW139s capable of operating in the most extreme conditions and environments,” said Mike O’Reilly, Chairman of Eagle. “We look forward to customizing these aircraft as a cost-effective solution to address market demand for utility-enabled machines and expanding our offerings within Waypoint’s Global Asset Management Services business.”
Since its inception in 2013, Waypoint has been active in supporting oil and gas, utility, firefighting and other industrial-focused helicopter operators. Waypoint’s portfolio includes more than 140 aircraft for 28 customers in 30 countries with total assets in excess of $1.6 billion. Additionally, Waypoint has firm and option orders with aircraft manufacturers for more than 110 helicopters valued at more than $1.3 billion, to be delivered over the next five years.