Eurocopter takes the lead at ABACE 2012 to showcase its ability and readiness to support Asia's growing business aviation market
The Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition 2012 will provide the platform for Eurocopter to demonstrate not only its commitment, but also its ability to meet the growing demands of a booming general aviation market in Asia, particularly in China.
2011 saw an accelerated growth in China's general aviation segment, where 17 out of the 30 helicopters in Eurocopter's bookings were purchased for general aviation purposes when traditionally only around five were sold each year.
"Business aviation is expected to be one of the key pillars contributing to the growth of the overall general aviation market. We anticipate that China will need about 1,000 helicopters in the next 10 years, of which 10% could be business and private helicopters," said Eurocopter China CEO Bruno Boulnois.
Eurocopter is the undisputed leader in the global business aviation segment, having sold more than 500 helicopters in the last four years. To ensure this segment continues to be serviced well, Eurocopter constantly introduces new variants and customizations to make helicopter travel as smooth and comfortable as private jets, to meet the needs of discerning travelers today.
Starting with the Stylence package offered on its light single and light twin helicopters, the Stylence family of helicopters are designed with a sleek combination of style and silence. It incorporates extra-think interior insulation and special flooring to further reduce the noise and vibration levels, in order to allow passengers to enjoy the luxurious interiors and in-flight office and telecommunications equipment.
In addition, Eurocopter took "luxury helicopter travel" one step further by collaborating with Hermès and Mercedes Benz, to develop two highly exclusive designer helicopters in the EC135 and EC145 models respectively. The EC135 Hermès version (known as L'Hélicoptère par Hermès) seats five passengers in an exquisite Hermès-designed interior; while the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style seats up to eight passengers comfortably in an interior that is akin to Mercedes-Benz' luxury-class saloons.
Most notably, Eurocopter has even developed a specially-designed "Phoenix" cabin interior that can be fitted into its EC155 12-seater model. Introduced to customers in China last year, the "Phoenix" cabin features a burgundy red interior that exudes an oriental ambience, designed to suit the taste and aesthetic preference of Chinese customers. This unique cabin concept has been developed in collaboration with Airbus, who is offering the Phoenix cabin interior in its Airbus Corporate Jets and consists of a layout that is designed to appeal to Asian tastes.
As the only international helicopter manufacturer to have a full-fledged subsidiary in China, Eurocopter has the ability to offer not only the full range of Eurocopter products, but also after-sales support and services in close proximity to all its customers.
"The business and private aviation segment has great potential in China. There is definitely a demand; and we are ready to provide turnkey solutions for our customers, especially the first-time buyers, so that they can start operating their helicopters without hassle and enjoy safe and efficient flights while we take care of everything else," added Boulnois.
Eurocopter now occupies 40% of the business aviation market share in China, with the latest delivery made to ZOECO in mid-March this year. ZOECO, who has extended its automobile expertise to VIP helicopter interior customization, will be purchasing Eurocopter helicopters on which they will install their own custom-designed VIP cabin interior equipment. This partnership between Eurocopter China and ZOECO will establish a new milestone in the helicopter market for business aviation in China. Eurocopter delivered the first helicopter acquired by ZOECO under this partnership arrangement - an EC130 B4, a light helicopter from Eurocopter's Ecureuil family - which will also be displayed at ABACE.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter's worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business. (www.eurocopter.com)
About Eurocopter China (www.eurocopter-china.com)
Created in December 2006, Eurocopter China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurocopter Group, responsible for sales and customer support activities for the company's entire range of products. In China, Eurocopter China covers a market share of 40%. With 45 years of presence and over 30 years of experience in industrial cooperation in China, around 180 Eurocopter helicopters have been sold in the country. In order to provide quality service in proximity to Chinese operators, Eurocopter China has established a multi-based organization in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Harbin, Chengdu, Wuhan and Hong Kong staffed with around 55 employees.