Airbus Helicopters continued to expand its HCare product support client list at the European Rotors conference, which opened today in Cologne, Germany. At the show, the company inked new contracts with Saudi Arabia's The Helicopter Company (THC) and European conglomerate SAF Aerogroup.
HCare In-Service is one of several HCare programs, which also includes HCare Initial and HCare Lifetime. For specific fleets, HCare First is available for Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) aircraft and HCare Classics for the out-of-production legacy fleet (H120, Dauphin, Puma, and Gazelle).
THC signed an in-service contract to cover its fleet of 20 five-blade Airbus H145 helicopters, which were ordered in December 2021 and will be deployed across the kingdom for helicopter emergency medical services. Five H145s have been delivered and the remaining 15 are expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The in-service package provides THC with parts availability by-the-hour services.
Launched in 2019, THC was established by the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund to generate long-term commercial returns while meeting the growing demand for luxury tourism and air travel services. THC previously signed agreements to buy 10 Airbus H125s and six ACH160 helicopters to increase access to domestic tourism destinations and provide services such as filming and aerial surveying.
“In our mission to enhance the aviation environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the maintenance and usage of our fleet must be optimized for the long term,” said THC CEO Arnaud Martinez. “Our decisions to streamline maintenance services with an HCare In-Service contract covers this requirement, and has been tailored to meet our specific mission needs.”
SAF Aerogroup unit Aero Support Force has signed an HCare in-service support contract to cover its fleet of Airbus helicopters, including four H215s and one H225. HCare provides SAF with parts availability by-the-hour services. SAF also signed a second contract to retrofit 15 of its H125 single-engine helicopters with crash-resistant fuel systems. The H125s are operated by SAF Aerogroup’s subsidiaries SAF Hélicoptères and Helilagon.
“The new HCare offer has been designed with our customer's unique needs and operational environments in mind. The HCare in-service package is tailored to provide SAF Aerogroup's entire Super Puma fleet with the optimal level of parts availability in the form of a part-by-the-hour solution to best meet their specific operational needs in one single contract,” said Airbus Helicopters executive v-p for customer support and services Christoph Zammert.
SAF Aerogroup operates in Europe, the Indian Ocean, and Africa. The company's Aero Support Force is a service center that provides maintenance and support for all of SAF Aerogroup’s operators. Subsidiary Starlite Aviation operates the fleet of two Puma and Six Super Pumas for missions including firefighting, medevac, rescue, and relief operations. Its European heavy-lifting operator, SAF International, is operating an additional Super Puma.