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Leonardo has announced the delivery of two AW119Kx single engine helicopters to Akagera Aviation of Rwanda. The aircraft feature a customized convertible configuration for passenger transport or emergency medical service (EMS) depending on mission requirements. The two AW119Kx add to an AW109 GrandNew and an AW139 already operated by Akagera Aviation for transport and EMS duties in the country since 2010. Rwanda became the first Central African country to introduce into service a dedicated, state-of-the-art EMS helicopter with the delivery of the AW109 GrandNew.
The four aircraft are perfectly suited to operate in the hot and high conditions of Rwanda and will provide a significant increase to airborne services nationwide supporting local communities. The AW119Kx helicopters just delivered will also support the growing demand for tourism in Rwanda, allowing an increasing number of visitors to easily access the amazing natural attractions.
The AW119Kx is a best in class single engine helicopter featuring a state-of-the-art avionics system for enhanced situational awareness, mission effectiveness and safety. The AW119Kx has a large cabin able to accommodate up to six passengers and redundancy of all critical systems that are typically available on twin engine aircraft, ensuring outstanding safety. Nearly 300 AW119 helicopters have been ordered to date by over 120 customers in almost 40 countries. The new AW119Kx is perfectly suited to perform many roles including EMS, utility, fire-fighting, law enforcement, VIP/corporate transport, pilot training and public service duties.
Leonardo has experienced significant growth in Africa in recent years with approximately 500 helicopters of various types sold. Significant markets for its aircraft in the Sub-Saharan African region in the last 10 years include Equatorial Guinea, Congo Brazzaville, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. Applications cover passenger transport, EMS, surveillance, law enforcement and other public utility missions.
Established in 2004 and headquartered at the Kigali International Airport, Akagera Aviation is a leading aviation company in Rwanda providing high quality helicopter services including helicopter operations, maintenance and training. Akagera Aviation is also the first tourist operator in the country.