Helitech 2013: Eurocopter, AgustaWestland Announce Orders
Eurocopter used the Helitech show to highlight some recent contracts. First, the UK-based Avincis group announced a firm order for three EC225s. The first two aircraft will be delivered next month, with the third slated to arrive in next year’s second half.
Shortly after unveiling the executive version of the EC175 at EBACE in May, Eurocopter received firm orders for two copies of the variant. Cabin completion will be performed at Eurocopter’s factory in Marignane, France. Deliveries to both unidentified customers are scheduled for 2016. Eurocopter originally planned to have the EC175 certified in 2011 but now expects approval early next year.
In addition, CAE and Eurocopter announced an agreement to establish an EC225 training facility in Norway. A CAE 3000 level-D flight and mission simulator will begin operation in 2015. It will feature flight profiles for the offshore oil-and-gas sector and search-and-rescue operations.
Finally, the European manufacturer has signed an agreement with Waypoint Leasing to allow the latter to offer its client base Eurocopter’s Parts-By-the-Hour (PBH) support services. This suggests the Limerick, Ireland-based lessor will be ordering Eurocopter products; in fact, CEO Ed Washecka referred to a “future Eurocopter helicopter inventory.”
Similarly AgustaWestland announced a raft of orders at Helitech from customers based in Europe. The manufacturer signed contracts with Italian companies for three AW139s and one GrandNew light twin. These helicopters will be used in VIP and corporate transport.
UK-based Avincis Group inked a firm deal for one AW139 and two AW189s and signed a preliminary agreement for two AW169s. Avincis’s Bond Aviation will operate the AW189s for offshore missions in the UK North Sea. It will use the AW139 and the two AW169s for emergency medical services in Sicily.
Finally, the Italian manufacturer announced a framework agreement with Dublin, Ireland-based helicopter leasing specialist Milestone Aviation for AW139s, AW169s and AW189s. Although the deal is said to be “the largest civilian helicopter sale in AgustaWestland history” when fully executed, neither party backed up that claim with specific numbers. A Milestone executive referred only to “dozens” of helicopters worth “hundreds” of millions of dollars.