China in Deal with Airbus to Buy 123 Helicopters over Six-Year Period

Published Date : Jul 08, 2014

Three general aviation operators in China inked deals with German aircraft behemoth Airbus to purchase 123 helicopters. These aircraft will be used for general aviation by the Chinese firms. According to a statement by Airbus Helicopters, the record deal was inked with three Chinese companies – Yunnan Fengxiang General Aviation Co (GAC), Fujian Xinmei GAC, and Guangdong Baiyun GAC.

Fujian Xinmei’s 55-helicopter deal will see five helicopters being delivered in 2014, with the other 50 over a six-year period. Airbus has received 50 unit orders from Guangdong Baiyun, whereas Yunnan Fengxiang will buy 18 units.

Most of the helicopters that will be sold as part of the deal, are single-engine, light helicopters that fall under the Ecureuil family of Airbus Helicopters. A few twin-engine EC135 light helicopters also form a part of the deal.

Many of these aircraft will be utilized for aerial tours, utility-related projects, business aviation, passenger transport, emergency medical services, as well as search and rescue.

China has recently relaxed its low-altitude airspace regulations, and this move is being regarded as a big boost to the helicopter market in the country. The market for low-altitude aircraft will see massive growth in the years to come, and will be comparable to a similar market that exists in other developed economies in the West. A senior Airbus executive said that this move will enable the helicopter market in China to inch closer to realizing its full potential. This is one of the single biggest helicopter deals that Airbus has signed.