Eurocopter, December 21, 2011 - Marignane, France and Shenzhen, China - CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co., Ltd. (COHC) has ordered seven EC225 LP long-range helicopters in a new agreement with Eurocopter that also paves the way for future joint ventures involving the two companies in training and maintenance services to serve China’s rapidly-developing rotary-wing market.
The EC225 LP Super Pumas acquired in this latest order will be delivered by Eurocopter from December 2012 to December 2015, and are to be used in COHC’s airlift duties for the offshore oil and gas industry. They will join the Chinese operator’s already large helicopter fleet, which currently includes Eurocopter AS332 L1 Super Pumas, EC155 B and B1s, and AS365 Dauphins.
“With this new contract, COHC will further consolidate its leadership in China and Asia, positioning the company in the top 10 worldwide helicopter operations serving the oil and gas sector,” said Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. “I am very pleased to build on the continued confidence of COHC in our products and services.”
Eurocopter’s EC225 LP is the latest-generation member of its heavy-lift Super Puma helicopter family, and is the only rotary-wing aircraft capable of performing long-distance flights to offshore oil and gas platforms at its maximum takeoff weight and with a full payload. Features incorporated in the twin-engine EC225 LP include a five-blade main rotor with new airfoil shapes to reduce vibration levels, a reinforced main rotor gearbox, a dual-channel Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), and a full glass cockpit with active matrix liquid crystal displays.
In addition to the new EC225 LP acquisition, COHC and Eurocopter have agreed to develop cooperative training services and establish a maintenance facility for China and the wider Asian marketplace. These joint efforts are expected to include a helicopter training center with flight simulators, as well as an overhaul facility for dynamic components such as main gearboxes.
“We look forward to further expanding our excellent relationship with Eurocopter through this new cooperation, which is to offer services that respond to the expanding helicopter sector in China and Asia,” explained COHC Chairman Bi Wei.
COHC was incorporated in 1999 and provides general aviation transportation services and aviation maintenance service – with a focus on the oil and gas industry. In addition to its headquarters base in Shenzhen, it also operates from locations in Shanghai, Zhanjiang and Tianjin.
“The new training and maintenance capabilities offered through our cooperation with COHC will provide services that contribute to the safety of flight in the fast-growing Chinese and Asian markets – which is a priority for Eurocopter,” added Norbert Ducrot, Eurocopter’s Senior Vice President for Asia.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s helicopters account for 33 percent of the total worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter’s strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 30 subsidiaries and participations on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. There are currently 11,200 Eurocopter helicopters in service and some 2,900 customers in 147 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.