Eurocopter Confirms Contract with Héli-Union for 4 EC175 Helicopters

Héli-Union is extending its long-standing relationship with Eurocopter by ordering four EC175 for offshore oil and gas missions, continuing this worldwide helicopter operator’s tradition in pioneering the introduction of highly capable new-generation rotary-wing aircraft.

The contract signature was officially announced today during Héli-Union’s 50-year anniversary celebration, which was held at its Toussus-le-Noble maintenance center near Paris, France, and included a fly-over of Eurocopter’s no. 1 EC175 prototype.

“The EC175 order builds on a highly successful five-decade relationship with a very unique and important customer, and Eurocopter looks forward to continuing our partnership as Héli-Union expands its oil and gas operations into new regions of the world,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “As with many of Eurocopter’s other products, Héli-Union provided valuable input during the EC175’s development, and we will continue to benefit from its expertise once the helicopter is in service.”

With deliveries of these new seven ton-class helicopters to Héli-Union beginning in 2013, the EC175 will introduce a new level of operational flexibility and comfort for international offshore oil and gas transportation services, as well being available for search & rescue missions.

“The EC175 will bring enhanced operational capabilities and unmatched passenger comfort for Héli-Union’s oil and gas operations,” explained Héli-Union Chairman & CEO Jean-Christophe Schmitt. “Eurocopter has been a key partner in our company’s success during the past 50 years, and our new contract marks an important step in the next chapter of our operations.”

Héli-Union currently operates a young fleet of some 30 helicopters, which includes Eurocopter,AS350, EC145, AS365 and AS332. The 18 AS365s in its inventory make Héli-Union the world’s second largest civilian operator of this type, and the company is preparing for the introduction of an AS365 N3/N3+ flight simulator at its training center in Angoulême, France, as well as the introduction of two EC225s in its fleet.

During the past 50 years, Héli-Union has operated almost all of Eurocopter’s product line, and was among the first customers to introduce the SA330 Puma in the civil version, the SA313 Alouette II, the SA315 Lama and the SA360/SA365 Dauphin. In addition, Héli-Union has worked closely with Eurocopter in enhancing the overall and operational capabilities of Eurocopter’s products thanks to the company’s operational experience in a full range of challenging environments.

Eurocopter’s twin-engine EC175, made with customers (including Héli-Union), for customers, appears to be the perfect 16-passenger helicopter for oil and gas operations. It provides a mix of proven and advanced technologies for excellent performance and reliability in a full range of missions, with a high level of comfort.

Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 17,500 people. In 2010, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market with a turnover of 4.8 billion Euros, orders for 346 new helicopters and a 49 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors.
Source: Eurocopter

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