SonAir resumes commercial service with Eurocopter EC225 helicopters

SonAir, Africa’s largest oil and gas helicopter operator, has become the first operator to resume passenger transportation flights with the suspended EC225 fleet. Three flights were performed successfully with two EC225s from Luanda to two offshore platforms.

Based in Angola, SonAir is the aviation division of Sonangol, Angola’s national oil company. Its resumption of EC225 rotations for the oil and gas sector marks a new step in the return-to-service status for the full EC225 fleet worldwide.

“The three flights were routine, confirming that the EC225’s service restart is backed by strong safety measures that give confidence to our clients,” said said João Andrade, SonAir’s Chairman and CEO.

SonAir has a total of 11 EC225s located at its Luanda, Angola operating base, of which nine are dedicated to crew-change missions for offshore oil and gas platforms. SonAir’s Eurocopter fleet of aircraft also includes four AS332 L2 and three AS365 N3 helicopters.

“Eurocopter thanks SonAir and for its confidence in the EC225,” stated Guillaume Faury, President and CEO Eurocopter. “These first flights were possible thanks to a strong collaboration. Eurocopter remains fully committed to supporting this major oil and gas industry service provider in performing its very demanding missions.”

The EC225 is an 11-ton-class rotorcraft in Eurocopter’s Super Puma family. With more than 300,000 flight hours logged in service worldwide to date, it is deployed in civil, military and parapublic operations that range from offshore transportation and cargo airlift to search and rescue (SAR) duties.

Source: Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Jul 30, 2013