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Tue, Feb 08, 2005

HeliExpo '05: Seacor Orders 20 AB139s

Purchase Intended to Support Gulf Of Mexico Ops

HeliExpo 2005 is turning out to be a "big money" show.

Bell/Agusta Aerospace Company made a justifiably big deal out of an agreement with SEACOR Holdings Inc. SEACOR placed an order for 20 AB139 medium-twin helicopters. The ceremony took place at Bell/Agusta's booth and is reportedly the largest order received for the AB139 to date. The deal raises the backlog to more than 100 helicopters for over 40 customers worldwide.

“Today's order for 20 Bell/Agusta AB139s represents the largest order for the aircraft so far,” stated Managing Director Louis Bartolotta. “SEACOR's enthusiasm for and confidence in the AB139 solidifies its position as the ideal medium-twin helicopter for offshore applications.”

Delivery of SEACOR's 20 AB139s will commence later this year and be completed by 2009. Initially, the helicopters will be used in support of offshore oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico, but could be deployed more widely in the future.

“SEACOR is excited about the acquisition of the Bell/Agusta AB139 helicopter. We believe that the AB139 will give our Era Helicopters unit a competitive advantage,” said SEACOR Holdings Vice President Edward Washecka.

“The 139 is faster and has significantly greater payload/range capability than its competitors. We believe that the AB139 is the medium twin turbine helicopter for the future.”

SEACOR and its subsidiaries are engaged in the operation of a diversified fleet of offshore support vessels that service oil and gas exploration and development activities in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea, West Africa, Asia, Latin America and other international regions. Other business activities primarily include environmental services, inland river operations, and offshore aviation services.

FMI: www.bellagusta.com

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