A ''century'' milestone marks the company's 45-year presence in China's helicopter marketplace
- Eurocopter at ABACE 2013
Eurocopter’s capabilities to serve the rapidly-expanding Chinese helicopter market by building on its 45-year presence in the country is being spotlighted at this week’s Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) in Shanghai. While maintaining strong product sales, Eurocopter’s China subsidiary has also been multiplying its support and services offerings to meet the increasing helicopter needs in the country.
Exhibited during the ABACE event at Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is Eurocopter’s popular twin-engine EC135, representing its modern product line of light and medium helicopters that respond to China’s operational needs in both the commercial and parapublic market segments. Eurocopter’s current rotorcraft fleet in China includes 14 EC135s, which are flown in business aviation, passenger transport and public services including emergency medical services missions.
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In addition to the EC135, the EC120, the Ecureuil family, the enhanced EC145 T2 and the EC155 helicopters also are well tailored for the Chinese market – offering a comprehensive product line for the country’s evolving rotary-wing requirements. The company’s strength in China is underscored by the record 90 million euro revenues generated in 2012 by its sale of 16 turbine helicopters to Chinese commercial and parapublic operators – representing a 54 percent increase from the previous year, and maintaining Eurocopter’s overall 40 percent share in these market segments. This activity is three times higher than the average bookings during the 2008-2010 timeframe, confirming that China’s commercial and business helicopter sector has taken off following the reforms enacted in 2011 to facilitate general aircraft operations and access to Chinese airspace.
Eurocopter’s overall civil and parapublic helicopter fleet in China has now reached the 100 mark, with the milestone helicopter – an EC120 – being provided to an investor group that will provide tailored solutions to support the development of helicopter flying clubs.
As Eurocopter’s helicopter fleet grows in China, the company is strengthening its service and support infrastructure in the country, achieving significant milestones during 2012. This included the EC225 simulator installation in Beijing – becoming the first helicopter full-flight simulator certified in China. Type-rating training solutions for the Ecureuil AS350 B3 helicopter have been made available as well. In parallel, the Eurocopter China subsidiary’s Beijing site became the 23rd location in a worldwide network of Eurocopter-approved training centers.
Eurocopter’s CGAMEC joint venture with the CITIC Offshore Helicopter Company and Samwell Aviation added rotor blade repair to its capabilities in 2012, along with a test bench for AS350 helicopter main gear boxes. Created in 2001, the Shenzhen-based CGAMEC is the first Sino-foreign joint venture in the general aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul field, and is approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency. In other activity, the Eurocopter Asia-Pacific Logistics Platform and its Customer Support Center in Hong Kong were brought under Eurocopter China’s responsibility.
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Source : Eurocopter, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)