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Airbus Helicopters enjoys rebound after COVID

Our Bureau - : Mar 2, 2023 - : 7:11 am

Like other helicopter OEMs, Airbus Helicopters is reporting a rebound in sales of rotorcraft after the worldwide shock caused by COVID-19. Indeed, Fabrice Rochereau, Vice President and Head of Sales Asia-Pacific at Airbus Helicopters, said at Avalon Airshow 2023 that the year 2024 would mark a full return to the normal trajectory of sales.

In the Pacific region, which comprises Australasia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Airbus is anticipating 300 helicopters will be sold over the coming decade. With 60+% of the region’s helicopter fleet more 20 years old or more, there is great demand for the fleet to be renewed.

Approximately half the 60 helicopter sales recorded in the Pacific last year were achieved by Airbus. The helicopter manufacturer expects steady and regular growth from hereon in, as long as no other black swan event occurs.

The H125 and H130 are the OEM’s bestsellers, and there are rising requirements for passenger transport, utility, mining and aerial works. Steady demand continues in the oil and gas, public services and emergency medical services segments too.

After a previous slump in oil and gas, Airbus Helicopters now expects this sector to create strong growth over the coming ten years. The manufacturer believes its H175 and H160 are well placed for offshore requirements, and the H145 for onshore transport.

Christian Venzal, Managing Director for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Airbus Helicopters, commented: ‘The region presents extensive opportunities for Airbus across the segments where we are ready to support with a strong product portfolio and an established maintenance and training network across the region. We are fully committed to growing this presence together with our customers and network partners.’

Indeed, Airbus Helicopters was well placed with its extensive network of local customer centres across Asia-Pacific during the COVID-19 pandemic. With international travel routinely curtailed, such local networks helped ensure resilience for the company. It was impossible to send pilots overseas for training, for example, and this has emphasised the importance of having local footprints.


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