AIRBUS HELICOPTERS used the Helitech International show in Amsterdam and the Air Medical Transport Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, in October 2018 to announce new orders across its portfolio.
On October 16, 2018, the first day of the Helitech International event, Airbus announced it had sold three light single and three light twin helicopters of undisclosed types to France’s SAF Group, for use on emergency medical services (EMS) missions.
All six will be delivered during 2019 and will be based in Metropolitan France, as well as on Reunion Island.
The helicopters will add to SAF’s current fleet of 44 Airbus Helicopters aircraft, which currently includes 24 H135s.
On the same day, the company announced that Norway’s Helitrans will add four H125 Ecureuil light helicopters to its existing fleet of 22 Airbus light single helicopters, which includes 20 H125s and two H130 helicopters.
The four additional aircraft will be delivered in the (northern) spring of 2019 and will be used on a wide range of missions, including powerline construction, fire-fighting, reindeer herding and tourism.
Richard Simonsen, CEO of Helitrans, said: “We have been operating the H125 for almost 20 years and we are very happy to enlarge our fleet with four additional helicopters to support our business expansion.”
On October 16, 2018, Germany’s DRF Luftrettung also announced it had signed for three additional H145 helicopters, bringing its total fleet to 17 units.
The helicopters will be used in the EMS role and will be delivered during 2019.
Dr Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung, said: “The performance of the H145, especially the added value Helionix [avionics suite] brings to our operation, helps us to fulfil our mission every day – saving the lives of injured or ill patients.”
The final announcement on the opening day of Helitech International was the signing of a framework agreement between Airbus Helicopters and Royal Dutch Touring Club ANWB for up to six H135 helicopters, for use in the helicopter EMS role.
The first tranche of three H135s will be delivered in 2019 and 2020 and all six will also be equipped with the Helionix avionics suite.
At the 2018 Air Medical Transport Conference, Airbus Helicopters further announced that it had sold three H125 and three H130 helicopters to Reach Air Medical Services, for use in the EMS role in North America.
Reach is based in Sacramento, California, and is a subsidiary of Global Medical Response, which provides critical care across California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Texas, All six helicopters will all be delivered during 2018.
In addition, Medical Air Rescue Company ordered a single H130 as part of its fleet modernisation strategy, for delivery in December 2018.
Finally, on October 25, 2018, Airbus Helicopters announced that Canada’s Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) air ambulance had selected the H145 to replace its existing fleet of EMS helicopters.
An undisclosed number of H145s will be acquired to replace STARS’ eight existing BK117/ H145 fleet, with the first tranche of helicopters to be delivered in 2019. Nigel Pittaway