Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. company, has announced the sale of seven helicopters to customers in Australia and New Zealand for the first quarter of 2022.
The sale comprised five Bell 407GXi helicopters to Nautilus Aviation in Australia, one Bell 407GXi to an unnamed Australian customer and one Bell 429 to Advanced Flight.
The Nautilus aircraft are scheduled to be progressively delivered from late 2022 and will be used for tourism charter and utility flights in North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef region.
“Nautilus Aviation has been operating helicopters for more than 25 years. Based on our helicopter fleet and steadfast commitment to the safety of all passengers and personnel, we have earned and developed a reputation for quality,” said Aaron Finn, CEO, Nautilius Aviation. “The Bell 407GXi helicopter has great all-around visibility for tourism, and we appreciate Bell’s outstanding customer service. After careful consideration of our operational requirements and a commitment to further reduce our environmental footprint, I am confident these new fleet additions will enhance our reputation and position us for growth as the Australian economy continues its recovery from the pandemic.”
“As Northern Australia’s largest helicopter operator, Nautilus’ selection of the Bell 407GXi demonstrates the confidence they have in the ability of the Bell 407GXi to fulfil their multiple mission requirements,” said Jacinto Monge, managing director, Asia Pacific, Bell. “We are honoured that Nautilus has chosen the Bell 407GXi, and we look forward to providing the support they need for entry into service.”
Today there are more than 1,600 Bell 407s globally, logging 6 million flight hours across the fleet and actively performing flight training as well as military, tourism, utility and para-public missions.
The sale of one Bell 429 helicopter in a corporate configuration to Advanced Flight, one of New Zealand’s largest helicopter charter and management companies, will see Advanced Flight operating three Corporate/ VIP transport Bell 429s in its fleet.
In addition to operating and managing the Bell 429s for corporate customers, Advanced Flight was awarded a contract in 2018 to manage and operate three Bell 429 helicopters for the New Zealand Police Air Support Unit, flying 3,300 hours annually.
Besides the New Zealand Police, the New South Wales Police Force Aviation Command launched operations of their three new Bell 429s in October 2021 to support the Force with patrols, search and rescue, surveillance, and specialist operations across the state.
With over 400 Bell 429s around the globe, the aircraft has been one of the most successful light twin helicopters on the market since its certification in 2009. Earlier this year, the Bell 429 surpassed 500,000 global fleet hours. The Bell 429 is known for its exceptional speed, performance, range, and low lifecycle cost. The aircraft’s readiness makes it ideal for a variety of missions such as law enforcement, para-public, oil and gas, and corporate transport.