Eurocopter makes a breakthrough into the Bangladeshi civil helicopter market with the arrival of the country’s first Eurocopter rotorcraft this year. An EC130 B4 was delivered to R&R Aviation; while an AS350 B3e was showcased to civilian and governmental prospects in a two-day flight demonstration. Both aircraft are light helicopters belonging to Eurocopter’s world renowned Ecureuil family.
Eurocopter delivered its first civil helicopter to R&R Aviation Limited (a concern of Sikder Group) earlier this month – the first of two EC130 B4s that were acquired by the Bangladeshi helicopter operator during the Singapore Airshow last year. To be used primarily for providing emergency medical services (EMS) and humanitarian support, the EC130 B4 can also be reconfigured for air charters, sightseeing tours and aerial observation with a cabin that seats up to eight passengers.
R&R Aviation is the largest private helicopter operator in Bangladesh. Rick Haque Sikder, R&R Aviation Chairman explained, “We are very proud to be the first Eurocopter operator in Bangladesh. This high performance aircraft will enable us to develop our commercial and medical services for the people of Bangladesh. We are looking forward to receiving our second EC130 B4 and we hope that this is the beginning of a long term partnership between R&R Aviation and Eurocopter, with more helicopters to come.”
Recognizing the potential of light helicopters in this market, Eurocopter also brought in an AS350 B3e for a two-day flight demonstration in Dhaka. The demonstration showcased the AS350 B3e’s capabilities to the helicopter pilots community, business leaders, senior officers from governmental entities and civil aviation authorities.
“We see a promising future for the demand and deployment of helicopters in both the civil and governmental markets in Bangladesh,” said Eurocopter South East Asia President, Eric Toussaint. “With its advanced technology and versatility, the AS350 B3e is able to answer most of the country’s requirements for a variety of missions, including passenger transport, EMS, aerial work, law enforcement, disaster management, etc.”
The aircraft was well-received by the participants with very positive feedback on the speed and level of comfort. Commenting on his flight experience, Brigadier General Abdullah Al Azhar, commander of the ad hoc army aviation group, who is also a qualified pilot of Eurocopter’s medium, twin-engined AS365 N3+ Dauphin, noted that “the rate of climb and manoeuvrability of the AS350 B3e was impressive, surpassing our expectations of a single-engine aircraft.”
Source: Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Mar 28, 2013