The rotorcraft market in South America is still alive, despite the industry-wide decline in demand. Companies worldwide are not shying away from the market there, as was evident in the orders from the 13th annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE) in São Paulo, Brazil.
Exhibitors included Airbus and its Vector Aerospace unit, Bell Helicopter and Leonardo-Finmeccanica.
Airbus used the event to launch a Brazilian tour of the first conversion by its Helibras subsidiary of an EC135 P2 to the H135 configuration. Vector displayed its range of service offerings.
Bell — participating jointly with sister company Textron Aviation — featured three aircraft in the event, which took place Aug. 30 to Sept. 1. It displayed the Bell Helicopter 429 with the MAGnificient interior, the 407GXP and the 505 Jet Ranger X.
Activity at the show extended beyond window-shopping. Leonardo-Finmeccanica sold five helicopters to three different customers from Argentina and Venuzuela. The sales included one AW169 and four GrandNews. These add to the 250 commercial helicopters already in the South American market across a fleet of AW109s, AW119s and AW139s.
Bell said nearly 80 of received 380 letters of intent for the 505 are from Latin American customers.