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Henan New Continental Business Aviation of China orders Asia's first EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style

(PresseBox) (Donauwörth, ) Henan New Continental Business Aviation of China will acquire two VIP passenger transport helicopters from Eurocopter to commence its chartering business - an exclusively designed EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style, which will also be the first such model to be sold in Asia; as well as an AS350 B3e from the Ecureuil family.

These two rotorcraft will initiate Henan New Continental's planned creation of a helicopter fleet in meeting growing VIP and business passenger airlift demand in China.

"While VIP helicopter transportation in China is relatively young, the customers' needs are maturing rapidly," explained Zhou Suiji, the Chairman of Henan New Continental Business Aviation. "With the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter and the AS350 B3e, we will be able to meet and exceed their expectations of comfort and exclusivity."

This latest Chinese order was announced today during the China Helicopter Exposition in Tianjin. The EC145 configured in the "Mercedes-Benz Style" edition will be the first such model to be acquired in Asia, with four other designer units having been delivered in the U.S. and Europe. Eurocopter will deliver the AS350 B3e at year-end, followed by the EC145 in mid-2014.

"We welcome Henan New Continental into the Eurocopter family, and pledge the full backing of our in-country support resources," said Eurocopter China CEO Norbert Ducrot. "This operator will be well positioned to serve the rapidly-growing Chinese market, where Eurocopter helicopters already are increasingly used for the VIP and business segment, in commercial and utility missions, as well as by the public service sector."

Eurocopter's twin-engine EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style is a project undertaken in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy. Tailored for high-end corporate, executive and private operations, it has a versatile and easily transformable cabin suitable for a broad range of travels, including executive transportation, family voyages, as well as leisure and sport trips. Its interior design is inspired by the Mercedes-Benz range of premium vehicles, featuring high quality materials, elegant woods and ambient cabin lighting, along with multi-function boxes.

The AS350 B3e is Eurocopter's latest version of the company's popular single-engine workhorse Ecureuil rotorcraft product line, which has a wide cabin, high cruise speed and low vibration levels for passengers. Its B3e variant incorporates a more powerful Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine with a longer life cycle and lower maintenance costs, next-generation FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control), an improved interior design and tail rotor modifications for additional ease of piloting.

About Eurocopter China

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, more than 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 80 employees.


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Airbus Helicopters

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 22,000 people. In 2012, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 6.3 billion Euros, orders for 469 new helicopters and a 38 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 more than 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,780 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 148 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