Eurocopter to open AStar completion centre in China
September 5, 2012 ByCarey Fredericks
Sept. 5, 2012, Tianjin, China - Eurocopter and Tianjin Free Trade Zone (TFTZ) have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the creation of a completion and customization center for Eurocopter’s AStar family of light helicopters in Tianjin.
But while the center will initially be focused on AStars, it will also be designed to enable future growth in accommodating other Eurocopter helicopter types. The target for this joint venture is to commence operations by the end of 2013.
“The new Chinese industrial center will mark an important step for Eurocopter’s global strategy of being in close proximity to customers within key markets, while also offering tailored, flexible solutions adapted to local market requirements,” said Eurocopter president Lutz Bertling. “Eurocopter pioneered cooperative programs with Chinese partners more than 30 years ago, and we have never stopped our efforts to develop our presence in the country. Collaboration with Tianjin is a timely and natural progression, as China’s general aviation market continues to experience massive growth.”
Bertling said that with helicopter demand expected to increase rapidly in the coming years as China relaxes its airspace regulations, the Tianjin initiative would create a win-win situation for all stakeholders. “Eurocopter will be able to ramp up production, our customers can benefit from faster delivery and prompt services, and the local market will gain an economic boost while also benefiting from international-standard aviation skills,” he added.
The MoU was signed by Bertling and TFTZ president Feng Zhijiang in a ceremony witnessed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.