Airbus Helicopters has signed a contract with China’s GDAT, a helicopter lessor and operator, for 50 H160 intermediate-twin helicopters—a deal worth more than $700 million. The announcement came during French President Macron’s state visit to China and is the largest single order for the H160 on the civil and parapublic market since the helicopter was unveiled in 2015.
The helicopters will be used for missions supporting offshore oil and gas, wind farms, and harbor piloting, as well as a parapublic missions such as air ambulance. Airbus and GDAT also signed a strategic cooperation agreement related to support and services capabilities. GDAT specializes in helicopter sales, leasing, maintenance, and modifications, as well as operating emergency rescue and other government services flights. It is headquartered in Shanghai and has four wholly-owned subsidiaries across China, in addition to operating bases in Suzhou and Ningbo and an overseas branch in London.
“We are honored GDAT has decided to bolster their all-Airbus fleet of 26 helicopters with the addition of 50 H160 helicopters. The H160 has been designed at the outset as a multimission helicopter and is, therefore, well suited to the multiple segments that lessors provide for,” said Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even. GDAT’s current Airbus fleet includes 21 H225 Super Pumas.