Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling issued a prediction here this week that Eurocopter’s market share in 2008 will stay above 50 percent. “The only market that is suffering a bit is the corporate/VIP one in the U.S.,” he said. The company expects turnover to grow by 6 to 8 percent over last year’s e4.17 billion ($6.5 billion). It expects the number of deliveries to approach 550. Bertling also said the company’s expected 2008 sales of 650 to 700 helicopters will rank second only to its 2007 showing.
He also revealed plans for the firm’s local subsidiary, Eurocopter UK, to achieve revenues of £200 million ($400 million) by 2013, four times the turnover in 2007.
Offshore oil transport and military business are seen as the major growth areas for Eurocopter UK. For offshore operations support, Eurocopter has announced the installation of an EC 225 flight training device in Aberdeen. On the defense side, it holds out great hope for a Puma upgrade contract. “We also expect to be on the MoD’s SAR-H program’s shortlist,” Bertling added.
EC175 to fly 4Q09
Bertling also announced that the Eurocopter EC175 seven-metric-ton twin helicopter is scheduled to make its first flight in the fourth quarter of next year. This is the first time this schedule has been stated with such precision, the target date having so far been loosely referred to as “2009.” The EC175 is a 50-50 joint program with Chinese-based Harbin Aircraft.