Airbus Helicopters saw stable revenues and profit last year: €6.3 billion ($8.7 billion) and €397 million ($546 million), respectively, according to the financial results Airbus Group unveiled today in Toulouse. The company delivered 497 helicopters and recorded orders for 422 more, compared with orders for 469 the previous year. However, the value of the orders increased year-over-year by 7 percent, to €5.8 billion ($7.9 billion). The civil market accounted for 55 percent of revenues. The backlog, as of December 31, stood at 995 helicopters worth €12.4 billion ($17 billion).
Rolls-Royce has signed multi-year service agreements with four large fleet operators, encompassing operational support for more than 220 M250-engine powered rotorcraft. Yesterday at the company’s booth, Tim McGrath, the engine OEM’s vice president of customer business, signed the agreement with Mike O’Reilly, president of Calgary-based Eagle Copters, which specializes in sales, leasing, MRO and STC manufacturing and owns 15 M250-powered helicopters including the Bell 206B, 206L3 and 407.
Berlin-based Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services (LBAS) opened its new line service operation in Zurich, Switzerland, on February 20. Following a two-day review by German aviation officials acting on behalf of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the facility was cleared to begin operations. ExecuJet Europe has partnered with LBAS to offer line maintenance support for Bombardier business jets, including the Learjet 40, 45 and 60, as well as the Challenger series and Global Express, XRS, Global 5000 and Global 6000.
Best known for its business aviation service portfolio, PremiAir International Group has a new CEO. Keith Marshall served 24 years in the British Army as a helicopter pilot and instructor before launching a career in the private sector that has included stops with Northrop Grumman; MGISC Toulouse; and Selex Galileo (formerly GEC-Marconi), where he held the title of executive v-p in the electronic warfare and battlespace divisions. Marshall’s appointment signals a drive to bolster PremiAir’s capabilities in aerospace systems markets, according to the company.
On the day that Airbus sent two more A350 development aircraft on their maiden voyages, bringing the test fleet to four, Airbus Group announced during its 2013 annual results press conference that the delayed program had incurred a €434 million charge.
Rolls-Royce on Wednesday revealed plans for a new generation of engine designs to replace the current Trent family. The first, called Advance, would reach the market by the end of this decade, burning at least 20 percent less fuel and emitting 20 percent less CO2 than the first generation of Trent engine. The second, dubbed UltraFan, would enter service by 2025 and use a geared design and a variable-pitch fan system capable of delivering at least a 25-percent improvement in fuel burn and emissions.
The Sesar Joint Undertaking (SJU) administrative board has named Florian Guillermet to head the Brussels-based organization leading the Single European Sky ATM research effort. Guillermet’s appointment becomes effective April 1 subject to the completion of administrative procedures, the board said.
Rotorcraft Services Group Products (Booth No. 1206) announced during Heli-Expo 2014 that it is teaming up with Heli-One (Booth No. 1804) to collaborate on, produce, support and even co-market supplemental type certified products for their customers.
Initial STCs available through the partnership include a dual pivoting litter system for the AS350 and a rappel system for Bell 412 and 212 helicopters. Both STC’d products are on display at RSG’s booth at Heli-Expo.
Lease Corporation International (LCI) of Dublin, Ireland, announced signing orders for helicopters here at Heli-Expo 2014 worth almost $1 billion: the orders include a contract with AgustaWestland for as many as 18 helicopters valued at more than $280 million and a contract with Airbus Helicopters for as many as 21 new rotorcraft valued at some $645 million. Adding up the new orders and others since its launch in 2012, LCI has ordered more than $1.3 billion worth of rotorcraft.
New Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury and the head of its U.S. arm, Marc Paganini, were visibly penitent when discussing the company’s traditionally problematic customer service at today’s annual company press breakfast here at Heli-Expo. Faury left no doubt that he is committed to focusing more company resources and attention on product support. “It is time for new priorities,” he said. Paganini echoed that sentiment, admitting, “We need to do better.”