The Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)

Moneymaking Merkel: Airbus sells big time

The Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)
The Airbus Helicopters AS350B3 (Image © Anthony Pecchi / Airbus Helicopters)

The guys and girls at Airbus Helicopters must have given a few high fives today, as the European chopper manufacturer clearly profits from German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s state visit to Beijing. A whopping 123 rotorcraft will be delivered by Airbus over the next five years to three general aviation operators in China.

The rotorcraft will be used for various tasks, including utility work, aerial tours, passenger transport, business aviation, emergency medical services and search and rescue.

The three contracts were signed with Fujian Xinmei General Aviation Co., Guangdong Baiyun and Yunnan Fengxiang. The total fleet of 123 helicopters comprises mainly light single-engine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters’ Ecureuil family, as well as the light twin-engine EC135.

Fujian Xinmei GAC will be acquiring five AS350 B3e choppers, to be delivered this year. It also committed itself to an additional 50 light single- and twin-engine helicopters over the next six years.

Guangdong Baiyun GAC has placed an order for 50 Ecureuil and EC135 helicopters. An EC130 T2 from the Ecureuil family will be delivered this year; while the first three EC135 T2e will arrive by April 2015. The remaining aircraft are expected in the country in the next five years, as Baiyun aims to grow its business in general aviation, particularly in the relatively new segments of helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS), search and rescue and corporate transportation.

Yunnan Fengxiang GAC, a new company, buys 18 AS350 B3e choppers to add to the pair already in service with Yunnan. The first four helicopters are scheduled to be delivered this year. The remaining 14 aircraft are expected in the next two years, and Fengxiang intends to engage in multiple missions including aerial tours, business aviation and even HEMS.

Source: Airbus Helicopters