CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT

30 Years and Counting in Southern Africa

In 1989, we teamed up to offer helicopter solutions to go above and beyond flight in the southern part of Africa.

04 June 2019

This year marks a special anniversary for both Bell and Bell Independent Representative, National Airways Corporation (NAC). Thirty years ago, in 1989, we teamed up to offer helicopter solutions to go above and beyond flight in the southern part of Africa.

One of the most prominent markets on the African continent is South Africa. With 225 Bell aircraft in operation in the country alone, the demand for vertical lift solutions has been high, particularly for light single-engine aircraft. This success is due to the outstanding collaboration between Bell and NAC and the combination of advanced vertical lift aircraft with award winning local support, training and expertise.

Established in 1946, NAC offers a full range of aviation products and services, including new and pre-owned sales, maintenance, parts, charter flights, international operations, air ambulance services, aircraft leasing and pilot, technical and air traffic control training. NAC is based at Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg and operates a South African network.

Since 1989, we have achieved many milestones, including:

1989 – NAC becomes Bell, Independent Representative

1993 – First Bell 230 delivered to Amplats

1997 – Bell 430 delivery to Amplats

1996 – Bell 407 enters southern African market

2016 – Corporate customer purchases first Bell 429 at AAD airshow

2018 – First Bell 505 delivery into southern Africa. 

2018 – NAC celebrates grand opening of new state-of-the-art Heliport facility

Today - NAC Helicopter Operations supports anti-poaching efforts with a Bell 407 in Chinko, Central African Republic

During a private ceremony this week, we celebrated our past, present and future in southern Africa.

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Photo caption (left to right): Martin Banner - CEO NAC, Sameer Rehman - Bell Managing Director and Gary Phillips - NAC Executive Director.

 “At NAC, we pride ourselves on the long-term relationships we build with partners, suppliers and customers. Our partnership with Bell is one of which we are extremely proud and we are thrilled to have maintained great momentum for the brand over three decades. With Bell’s market leading product range, we will continue to grow their share even further, backing it up with world class support through our Bell Customer Service Facility at Rand Airport. We look forward to another 30 years of success together.”

Martin Banner, chief executive officer, National Airways Corporation

“We are very pleased to be celebrating this major milestone at NAC’s new heliport facility located in Midrand. There is immense potential in Africa and it’s with great allies like NAC, that we will continue to bring advanced technologies that will truly make a difference to the continent and its people.”

Sameer Rehman, managing director for Africa and the Middle East

With new commercial aircraft entering the market such the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X and the Bell 525, there are exciting times ahead for operators in Africa. We look forward to a bright future on the second largest continent in the world.

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Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 80 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were aboard NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of on-demand mobility.

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About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, Textron Off Road, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

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