Eurocopter and Starlite Aviation Group have signed a contract for the acquisition of two AS332 C1e helicopters, the latest version of the popular Eurocopter Super Puma medium weight helicopter.
The contract also includes an option for two additional aircraft. First deliveries will take place before the end of 2013, following EASA and FAA certification.
The AS332 C1e is a new version of Eurocopter’s Super Puma helicopter that includes a specific configuration offering shorter lead times and highly competitive operational and maintenance costs.
“Eurocopter is very proud to accompany the rapid development of Startlite and to build on their continued confidence in our products and services,” said Fabrice Arfi, Head of Business Development at Eurocopter Group.
“Starlite has demonstrated a high level of expertise carrying out very demanding missions in difficult environments and we know that they will continue to be successful with this new and highly performing helicopter.”
Based in Ireland and South Africa, Starlite Aviation Group offers a wide range of helicopter services to international clients such as UN agencies and NGOs for peace keeping or logistic support missions involving transportation of passengers and freight, heavy load aerial work, surveillance and executive transportation worldwide. The new Super Pumas, acquired in the context of a fleet renewal and expansion program, will join the operator’s extensive helicopter fleet, which currently includes 10 Eurocopter Pumas SA330 aircraft.
“After 12 years of Puma operations in austere environments all over the world, Starlite Aviation Group is convinced that the Super Puma AS332 C1e is the only new product on the market able to meet the current requirements of the commercial medium-heavy utility market” said Slade Thomas, CEO of Starlite Aviation Group.
“It is an honour for our company to be the launch customer of this new Super Puma version”.
The AS332 C1e is a medium weight, twin engine helicopter with outstanding performance belonging to the well-known Super Puma/Cougar family of aircraft. The long range capabilities, power, speed and large useful payload of up to 4.3 tons make it especially successful for missions such as equipment and passenger transportation as well as Search and Rescue. Thanks to its powerful MAKILA 1A1 engines, its state-of-art avionics and latest generation 4 axis autopilot, the AS332 C1e is able to operate in harsh conditions. Beyond these characteristics, the AS332 C1e offers excellent availability rates with optimized maintenance and operating costs.
The Super Puma family has logged more than four million flight hours in 50 countries around the world.