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Tue, Feb 15, 2011

Eurocopter Sells Five AS350 B3 Helicopters In India

Three Companies Sign Deals At Aero India 2011

The acquisition by three Indian companies of a total of five AS350 B3 helicopters was announced late last week by Eurocopter and its Eurocopter India subsidiary at the Aero India 2011 exhibition in Bangalore.

Three of the rotary-wing aircraft were ordered by Global Vectra, whose fleet will grow to seven AS350 B3s; while Summit Aviation and SS Aviation each purchased one. All five are scheduled to be delivered during 2011. “The AS350 B3 has become the single-engine helicopter of choice for major Indian operators, who are increasingly adopting it for their fleets,” said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. “Seeing this trend, we are confident the AS350 B3 will be instrumental in developing such segments as heli-tourism, passenger transportation, rescue, aerial work and law enforcement throughout the country.”

The AS350 B3 has experienced major success in heli-skiing applications at such locations as the Alps in Europe, North America’s Rocky Mountains and Alaska, and the Andes in South America – with operations now extended to the Himalayas in India. “Heli-skiing is a sport that requires high level of aircraft safety, robustness and capability to function immaculately in extremely high altitude conditions,” explained Neeraj Bhatia, the Managing Director of Summit Aviation. “The AS350 B3 was our choice for such duties at Gulmarg, Kashmir, where it is taking on the most challenging tasks with ease, and demonstrating incredible performance.”

Global Vectra AS350B

The AS350 B3 also has redefined pilgrim tourism in India, and is flying tourists to places like Vaishno Devi, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Amarnath. It is successfully used by numerous operators for corporate transportation, and has become the backbone of India’s geophysical surveys. Five AS350 B3s are in operation to support the country’s geophysical survey activity, with four of them flown by Global Vectra – the first operator using this helicopter type in India for such missions.

Most recently, Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited equipped an AS350 B3 with cameras and relay equipment for TV broadcasts during the recent Commonwealth Games, an Indian first. The SS Aviation contract announced today at Aero India 2011 makes this operator a new Eurocopter customer, with the AS350 B3 becoming the first helicopter in its fleet. “There is an increasing demand in the rural areas of Karnataka for air transport services, so the purchase of a helicopter makes sense to cater to this growing demand,” stated H. I. Mahesh, the CEO of SS Aviation.



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