Airbus Helicopters saw stable revenues and profit last year: €6.3 billion ($8.7 billion) and €397 million ($546 million), respectively, according to the financial results Airbus Group unveiled today in Toulouse. The company delivered 497 helicopters and recorded orders for 422 more, compared with orders for 469 the previous year. However, the value of the orders increased year-over-year by 7 percent, to €5.8 billion ($7.9 billion). The civil market accounted for 55 percent of revenues. The backlog, as of December 31, stood at 995 helicopters worth €12.4 billion ($17 billion).
AgustaWestland (AW) is performing customer demo flights aboard its prototype tiltrotor AW609 this week at Heli-Expo in Anaheim, Calif., but with the aircraft still early in the certification process few potential customers qualified to get on board. The FAA requires such passengers to be appropriately rated rotorcraft pilots, undergo simulator training in the company’s AW609 simulator, conduct a familiarization flight in the aircraft and receive a second-in-command rating.
Call it the decade of “skies opening” in greater China, or, if you are a helicopter OEM call it the decade of sales opportunities. If you are involved with helicopters in greater China today the excitement and growth is palpable. Last year the entire fleet (465 helicopters, 424 based in mainland China) grew by 20 percent, according to the Asian Sky Group Greater China Civil Helicopter Fleet Report, released during Heli-Expo 2014.
Rolls-Royce has signed multi-year service agreements with four large fleet operators, encompassing operational support for more than 220 M250-engine powered rotorcraft. Yesterday at the company’s booth, Tim McGrath, the engine OEM’s vice president of customer business, signed the agreement with Mike O’Reilly, president of Calgary-based Eagle Copters, which specializes in sales, leasing, MRO and STC manufacturing and owns 15 M250-powered helicopters including the Bell 206B, 206L3 and 407.
Charter group Falcon Aviation Services today signed a letter of intent to buy a Bombardier CS300 aircraft, with an option for a second. The $156.5 million deal, which was announced on the second day of this week’s Air Expo show in Abu Dhabi, takes the total number of orders and commitments for the CSeries jet to 447, of which 201 are firm orders.
Berlin-based Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) opened its new line service operation in Zurich, Switzerland, on February 20. Following a two-day review by German aviation officials acting on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the facility was cleared to begin operations. ExecuJet Europe has partnered with LBAS to offer line maintenance support for Bombardier business jets, including the Learjet 40, 45 and 60, as well as the Challenger series and Global Express, XRS, Global 5000 and Global 6000.
FlightSafety International (FSI) received approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its Embraer Legacy 500 maintenance training program on February 21. Embraer Executive Jets factory and authorized service center personnel are already receiving training on the under-development Legacy 500, and FSI will begin providing training services to operators of the new jet immediately following its certification.
Vector Aerospace Helicopter Services North America (Vector HS-NA) has introduced new services at its facility in Richmond, B.C., Canada, covering the Airbus Helicopters AS350, AS355 and EC130B4. A factory-approved maintenance and repair center, Vector HS-NA offers 12-year inspection service as well as structural repair capability on canopies, floors and aft structural assemblies, tail booms and vertical stabilizers. Also available are full component overhauls on Arriel 1 and Arriel 2 turboshafts, including lease and exchange engines.
Embraer’s three-quarter share of the U.S. regional jet market last year might have looked impressive to investors and analysts, but judging by some of the commentary during the company’s quarterly earnings briefing on Wednesday, it apparently didn’t satisfy CEO Frederico Curado.
On the day that Airbus sent two more A350 development aircraft on their maiden voyages, bringing the test fleet to four, Airbus Group announced during its 2013 annual results press conference that the delayed program had incurred a €434 million charge.