Global Helicopter Sales, Support and Service
Eurocopter recorded an all-time sales high in 2007. The company made 488 deliveries of new military and civil helicopters; achieving a consolidated turnover of €4 billion. Order bookings totalled 802 new aircraft. The company’s order backlog by the end of December exceeded €13 billion.
Harbin Aviation Industry Co. (HAIG) delivered the first EC175 airframe structure to Eurocopter. The medium-twin class 16-passenger EC175 is a 50:50 joint program between Eurocopter and HAIG. Assembly of the first EC175 prototype takes place in Marignane with its maiden flight due by the end of 2009. Orders presently stand at 111 units.
China has also developed into an important market for Eurocopter. Five AS350 B3 were ordered by Allyway, Citic Offshore Helicopters signed for 10 EC155 B1.
American Eurocopter marked the 2,500 U.S. delivery in 2008. The oil and gas market remained strong. Era Helicopters LLC, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc., received four EC225s in 2008, with two scheduled for 2009 and two more in 2010.
With the delivery of its AS355 NP aircraft to Phoenix Heli-Flight, Eurocopter Canada introduced its 500 helicopter into the Canadian marketplace in 2008.
Eurocopter transferred the first EC120 B Colibri helicopter to HeliDax. This company has been elected by the French Ministry of Defence to provide up to 22,000 helicopter flight hours for the Army’s light aviation school.
The U.S. Army placed an order for 39 additional UH-72A Lakota Light Utility helicopters, extending production under contract through 2010. This latest acquisition brings the total number of UH-72As ordered by the Army to 123. The Army plans to acquire 345 light utility helicopters through 2016. The Lakota has also attracted interest from other U.S. military services — including the U.S. Navy which ordered five UH-72As.
The commercial EC145 has established itself as a favorite choice of EMS and law enforcement operators. With the sale of two EC145 to the Ukrainian Ministry of Emergencies, Eurocopter made its first breakthrough in that country.
The EC135 held its lead in the light twin-engine helicopter market. Austria inaugurated the first four of eight new EC135 helicopters destined for the country’s air police. The Polish Ministry of Health ordered 23 EC135 helicopters to serve its nationwide Emergency Medical Services network. The Bavarian Ministry of the Interior purchased eight new EC135s for the Bavarian Police helicopter squadron.
The first EC635 destined for the Swiss Air Force was delivered two weeks ahead of schedule. The contract provides for the delivery of a total of 18 EC635 transport and training helicopters, plus two EC135s for the federal air transport service.
NH90 deliveries to Finland commenced in early 2008, with five in operation by the end of the year, while deliveries continued with Germany, Sweden, Italy and Australia. NH90 is the biggest military helicopter program ever launched in Europe, with 507 units ordered by 14 nations.
Eurocopter kept expanding its global presence. A new subsidiary in Indonesia was established, and a cooperation agreement signed with PTDI for the local assembly of the Super Puma Mk. II. Its subsidiaries in Canada and the UK extended their facilities, a new maintenance center was set up in South Africa. The company’s Spanish facility in Albacete delivered the first Spanish-produced EC135.
Support and services are key issues of Eurocopter’s growth strategy. The company purchased Motorflug, a German MRO specialist. The German government contracted Eurocopter to retrofit six of its Army CH53-G helicopters with ballistic self protection and specific mission equipment. HeliSim and Eurocopter inaugurated the world’s first EC225 Full Flight Simulator in Marignane.
To keep on top of the latest news from Eurocopter, visit www.eurocopter.com regularly!
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