Airbus Helicopters was exhibiting at the HAI HELI-EXPO 2022 helicopter show in Dallas, Texas, March 8-10. The manufacturer exhibited its H125, H135, ACH145 and H175 models. The event was an opportunity to announce new contracts with orders for aircraft for sectors such as police and medical evacuation in the United States. Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, and Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc, gave an update on eVTOL and the outlook for the 2022 market.
Airbus Helicopters sold 36 helicopters at the HAI Heli-Expo, including eleven H145s. Customers include U.S. municipal police departments that have placed orders to renew their fleets: the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the Riverside Police Department and the Baltimore Police Department. In the medical evacuation sector, demand continues to be strong as fleets are modernized and expanded. For example, Boston MedFlight has purchased its first five-blade H145, North Memorial Health has ordered two H135s, and STAT MedEvac, an Airbus customer for nearly 40 years, has committed to ordering 10 new H135 helicopters. Elsewhere in the world, Swiss Air-Rescue Service Rega will replace its seven H145s with nine new five-bladed H145s. In South America, Ecocopter has placed orders for three H125s and one H145 in the aerial work sector.
In the global market, Airbus Helicopters is the leading supplier of helicopters to the air medical transport sector, accounting for 55 percent of the 2,600 EMS helicopters currently in service worldwide, and more than half of all new air medical helicopters sold in the U.S. in the last decade.
Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even and Airbus Helicopters Inc. President Romain Trapp shared their views on innovations and future market prospects at a press conference at HAI Heli-Expo. The CEO believes that the market should fully recover from the impact of the pandemic within the next three years and has recovered to about 40 percent to date. “Our strategy of continuously investing in the product is paying off in terms of marketing positioning and customer proximity,” the executive said. He also spoke of the positive momentum Airbus Helicopters sees in the Middle East, particularly for the Saudi Arabian market. In terms of major innovations, Airbus is also turning to sustainable fuels. Indeed, the group has chosen to extend its partnership with The Helicopter Company to advance helicopter operations, using sustainable fuel (SAF) for conventional helicopters, and promoting urban air mobility (UAM) in Saudi Arabia. Airbus Helicopters aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, eventually using 100% SAF. Finally, Airbus also announced this week that aeronautical components manufacturer Spirit AeroSystems has agreed to develop and manufacture the wings for the CityAirbus NextGen, an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) prototype. The Heli-Expo show was an opportunity to exhibit a model of the CityAirbus NextGen, as well as the interior of an H125 helicopter.
Evens commented that it is essential to keep a balance between Airbus Helicopters’ revenue sources; for example, with the military and civil markets, 56% of revenue comes from the military side and 44% from the civil market. Then 44% of the revenue comes from services, and the other 56% comes from the company’s products. The CEO said the strategic priorities for the next year are customer retention, innovation and sustainability, and defense and security. Romain Trapp also explained that they expect significant growth for the company in 2022, extending the recovery trend seen in 2021.