New orders for 346 Eurocopter rotary-wing aircraft last year were equivalent to the company’s business volume of previous years prior to the peak periods of 2007/2009, and represented a value of 4.3 billion euros. These bookings included key Super Puma family contracts for
Malaysia and Mexico, along with strategic Ecureuil orders in Russia and the United States. “While 2010 was another challenging year for our industry, we made solid advancements that enable us to be well-placed for an expected market recovery in 2012 and beyond,” Eurocopter
President & CEO Lutz Bertling said. “Our strengths for the future will come from Eurocopter’s continually increasing investment in the product range and industrial capabilities, the expansion of our global footprint, along with major enhancements in our services offering.”
Deliveries of new production helicopters accounted for 53 percent of Eurocopter’s 2010 consolidated turnover, while support and services provided 36 percent of the total. The remaining 11 percent was generated by development and other activities.
Services and export sales were key drivers in Eurocopter’s 2010 bookings. Orders for new helicopters represented 49 percent of the total, followed by the 42 percent share for services, and nine percent for development and other activities. The growing share of services bookings supports Eurocopter’s Vision 2020, with the goal of further strengthening its services business. The new helicopter order shares were 51 percent civil and 49 percent military. Of the total 2010 bookings, 73 percent were for export sales, with the remaining 27 percent for Eurocopter’s domestic European markets.
Bookings by product range
Eurocopter’s 346 helicopter orders in 2010 were composed of the following:
- 143 AS350/AS355 Ecureuil/Fennec/EC130 family rotary-wing aircraft
- 67 EC135s
- 52 EC145s (including 40 UH-72A Lakotas)
- 45 Super Puma/Cougar EC225/EC725 family helicopters
- 27 Dauphin/Panther/EC155 family helicopters
- 12 EC120 Colibri aircraft
Highlights in 2010 included the beginning of flight testing with Eurocopter’s X3 high-speed helicopter demonstrator, which is part of the company’s focus on innovation as a central element in its business strategy. The X3 achieved its first important milestone of reaching the speed of 180 knots only two months after first flight. The second EC175 prototype’s maiden flight also occurred last year, marking an important step in this joint program with China. Flight testing also was initiated for the CH-53GA helicopters being completely modernized by Eurocopter for the German Army.
The framework of Eurocopter’s training and support/services capabilities was strengthened in 2010 with such developments as the creation of a new subsidiary in India; the go-ahead for expanded maintenance services in China; the opening of a new, enlarged facility in Singapore;
the expansion of Eurocopter’s Aviation Training Academy premises in Germany; and the development of the new Eurocopter global logistics platform in France.
The SHAPE transformation program, which Eurocopter implemented early 2010 to counter the global economic downturn and respond to the industry’s competitive challenges, already has delivered results in terms of new product developments, enhanced customer service, innovation, streamlined organization and cost savings - with over €100 million achieved from the €200 million targeted by the end of 2011. Additional benefits from the SHAPE program are expected in 2011.
2011 Flight plan
Eurocopter’s strategy for the next 12 months includes one program development launch for the expansion and modernization of its helicopter family, the first flight of a major product upgrade and one new helicopter certification.
The company’s industrial capabilities will be broadened and strengthened with its new rotary wing center of excellence for EC725 helicopters in Brazil, the establishment of a joint venture to assemble EC145s in Kazakhstan, along with the consolidation and improvement of Eurocopter’s facilities in Europe.
Eurocopter’s focus on its services offer will range from the investment in full-flight simulators and the addition of new certified training/maintenance centers in the UK, Southeast Asia and Brazil to a planned further expansion of global capabilities through partnership and acquisition. An emphasis during 2011 will be on improving fleet safety with smaller operators, as well as in markets where Eurocopter is beginning to obtain a foothold.