Eurocopter released financial results for 2012 last month, logging another year of growth despite continuously eroding deliveries. Services, such as maintenance and training, are set to become Eurocopter’s number-one revenue producing activity, surpassing helicopter production. And during the next five years, the European manufacturer is betting on growth in emerging countries.
AgustaWestland is making a new push into South America. The Italian helicopter maker, part of the defense and industrial conglomerate Finmeccanica, signed a memorandum of understanding on January 21 to establish a joint venture with Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer to build AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil for both the domestic and regional military and civilian markets.
Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday with Brazilian aircraft company Embraer to establish a joint venture to manufacture AgustaWestland helicopters in Brazil for both the domestic and regional military and civilian markets.
Eurocopter is claiming a 64-percent share of the small Indian civil helicopter market. Last year the manufacturer delivered nine new turbine helicopters out of a total of 14 registered in the country. Five were twins, while the remaining four were single-engine AS350B3s. The AS350 Ecureuil/AStar series had a 70- to 80-percent market share in the single-engine sector over the last two years in India, Eurocopter said.
Late in January Eurocopter unveiled record revenues–more than €5 billion, with service activity offsetting helicopter deliveries that sagged slightly. The Marignane, France-based company claims to have a 43-percent market share. For 2020, CEO Lutz Bertling is aiming at €9 billion revenues ($11.7 billion), at least 40 percent of it derived from services.
The first NH-90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) in final operational configuration was delivered to the French Army on January 30. “This is the culmination of the most important helicopter program ever launched in Europe,” said Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. Earlier deliveries of the TTH version to Australia, Germany and Sweden attracted criticism in those countries for various deficiencies. But Eurocopter said that the final configuration includes field-tested avionics that enable the helicopter to carry out its missions night and day with no major restrictions.
A five-year contract between Eurocopter’s Helibras subsidiary and the Brazilian armed forces details support for the force’s new fleet of 50 EC725 helicopters. Helibras will supply and manage all spare parts and stocks and provide related technical support, including inspection, overhaul and deployment of teams to provide on-site services for the Brazilian armed forces’ EC725s. It is the first agreement involving all three branches of the military and is valued at approximately $79.3 million.
The past 12 months have seen Jet-Care (Booth No. 4442) growing its presence in the helicopter engine support sector. The company, which specializes in oil analysis and health monitoring for engines and equipment such as gearboxes, has won new business in the North American market while also making inroads into the growing South American sector.
The future that Brazilians have awaited for so long is at last kicking at the door. But the question now, says Francisco Lyra, the blunt-spoken CEO of the Associação Brasileira de Aviação Geral (ABAG, Brazilian Association of General Aviation), is whether Brazil is ready for it?
Eurocopter in January reported unexpectedly good financial numbers for last year. Revenues stood at a record E4.6 billion ($6.44 billion), while the backlog increased by about E1 billion ($1.4 billion), to E15.1 billion ($21.1 billion), representing 1,300 aircraft. However, the manufacturer sees this year as “unpredictable” and expects civil sales will remain low.