During French President Macron’s visit to China, Airbus Helicopters has signed a contract with GDAT, one of China’s most prominent helicopter lessors and operators, for 50 H160 helicopters.
This contract 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 notably 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.
The companies also signed a strategic cooperation agreement related to topics such as support and services capabilities, amongst others, in order to 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. 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,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters.
“This contract is a great example of the importance of economic and trade cooperation between France and China. 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” said Peter Jiang, Chairman of GDAT.
GDAT is China’s leading innovative general aviation service provider specialising 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.
Designed as a multi-role helicopter capable of performing a wide range of missions, the H160 integrates Airbus’ latest technological innovations. The helicopter provides passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility that benefits both passengers and pilots. With its light maintenance plan aligned between engine and aircraft, the H160 optimises operating costs and offers a new standard in availability.
The H160 is already certified to fly with as much as 50% sustainable aviation fuel and is powered by two of the latest Arrano engines from Safran Helicopter Engines that offer a 15% reduction in fuel burn.
Airbus Helicopters has been a key partner in the Chinese helicopter sector for over 50 years. Today, there are more than 300 Airbus helicopters flying over China, serving more than 90 customers.