A five-year contract between Eurocopter’s Helibras subsidiary and the Brazilian armed forces details support for the force’s new fleet of 50 EC725 helicopters. Helibras will supply and manage all spare parts and stocks and provide related technical support, including inspection, overhaul and deployment of teams to provide on-site services for the Brazilian armed forces’ EC725s. It is the first agreement involving all three branches of the military and is valued at approximately $79.3 million.
The past 12 months have seen Jet-Care (Booth No. 4442) growing its presence in the helicopter engine support sector. The company, which specializes in oil analysis and health monitoring for engines and equipment such as gearboxes, has won new business in the North American market while also making inroads into the growing South American sector.
The future that Brazilians have awaited for so long is at last kicking at the door. But the question now, says Francisco Lyra, the blunt-spoken CEO of the Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG, Brazilian Association of General Aviation), is whether Brazil is ready for it?
Eurocopter in January reported unexpectedly good financial numbers for last year. Revenues stood at a record E4.6 billion ($6.44 billion), while the backlog increased by about E1 billion ($1.4 billion), to E15.1 billion ($21.1 billion), representing 1,300 aircraft. However, the manufacturer sees this year as “unpredictable” and expects civil sales will remain low.
Naaco’s ‘Mercury Mod’ Turns 15
Naasco, the starter-generator MRO specialist, is celebrating the 15th anniversary of “Mercury Mod,” its improvement program for starter-generators.
At Eurocopter’s annual Heli-Expo breakfast press conference yesterday, CEO Lutz Bertling said the company is using the current economic downturn to retool its business for greater performance and efficiency, while actively pursuing the next generation of helicopter technologies including its Blue Edge and Blue Pulse blade and other research and development programs “so that we will be ready for the market once the upturn comes.” He also said t
While the rest of the world continues to struggle in the grip of an economic crisis, the recent Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (Labace) suggests that business aviation in Latin America, and Brazil in particular, is healthy and growing. Labace 2009’s record log of 13,342 visitors was 1,212 more than the previous year, not to mention the healthy list of 110 exhibitors.
While much of the world struggles in the grip of a financial crisis, the economies in Latin America–and Brazil in particular–appear stable and even growing.
Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling in June said Brazil is to become his company’s “fourth domestic country,” after France, Germany and Spain. Pointing out the country wants to build its helicopter industry into a major player–like Embraer in regional jets–he said Helibras, a 70-percent-owned local subsidiary, will expand. Over the coming years, it will double in size and staff (workforce currently stands at 300).
Russia is a ripe market for Western helicopters, and at least one company, AgustaWestland, plans to establish manufacturing there. Overall there is considerable potential for more Western rotorcraft penetration in the Russian market especially in the civil, law enforcement and oil-and-gas sectors, with a demand that could grow to 450 to 500 helicopters by 2015.