Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with GDAT, one of China’s largest helicopter lessors and operators, for 50 H160 helicopters. This contract, explains Airbus, is the largest single order for the H160 on the civil and parapublic market since the helicopter was unveiled in 2015.
The aircraft will be used for the energy sector, including offshore transportation for oil and gas platforms, wind farms and harbour piloting, as well as emergency medical services and other municipal public service missions.
Airbus and GDAT also signed a strategic cooperation agreement related to topics like support and services capabilities, among others, to help ensure the long term success of the H160 in China.
“We are honoured GDAT has decided to bolster their all-Airbus fleet of 26 helicopters with the addition of 50 H160 helicopters,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H160 has been designed at the outset as a multi-mission helicopter and is, therefore, well suited to the multiple segments that lessors provide for.”
GDAT is a general aviation service provider that specializes in helicopter sales and leasing, maintenance and modifications, as well as emergency rescue flights, and other government services. The group is headquartered in Shanghai and has four wholly owned subsidiaries across China, as well as operating bases in Suzhou and Ningbo, and an overseas branch in London.
“This contract is a great example of the importance of economic and trade cooperation between France and China,” said Peter Jiang, Chairman of GDAT. “The innovative H160 is the perfect addition to our fleet and will enable us to continue our success story on the Chinese market that began with our 21 H225 helicopters. We see a lot of potential for the H160 in China, in particular for the energy sector.”
The H160, amongst a range of technological innovations. integrates Airbus’ sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and strong external visibility. The H160 is already certified to fly with as much as 50 per cent sustainable aviation fuel and is powered by two of the newest Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines, said to offer a 15 per cent reduction in fuel burn relative to earlier Safran engines.
Today, there are more than 300 Airbus helicopters flying over China, serving more than 90 customers.