Eurocopter and Russia’s UTair strengthen EC 175 partnership
Russian air transport giant UTair Aviation (Booth No. 1225) took center stage at Heli-Expo to sign an agreement with Eurocopter (Booth No. 2754) for the creation of an approved maintenance center for the OEM’s products and to work jointly on a new corporate interior design for the EC 175.
The announcement raises to another level the partnership initiated last year at Heli-Expo’08 when UTair signed for the purchase of 15 EC 175s, with an option for another 15. The interior mockup on the EC 175 here at Heli-Expo’09 represents preliminary results of collaborative discussions between the two companies taking into consideration the specifics of the demanding environment of this market segment. The next step, according to UTair, may be the establishment of a training center at its facilities.
“We believe the EC 175s are going to be the best helicopters to transport passengers to oil and gas platforms, as well as for utility missions and corporate transportation missions,” said Alexi Vinogradov, head of UTair’s helicopter division.
UTAir claims to be among the top four civil helicopter operators in the world by volume. It operates a fleet of more than 200 helicopters of various types. The company has been active in the oil and gas industry for more than 35 years and is also the largest provider of air transport services for United Nations peacekeeping missions.