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Airbus Helicopter Arm Sees Return to 2019 Flight Levels

As Industry Recovers, Helicopters See Boost in Demand, Use

Airbus Helicopters capped off 2022 with 374 gross orders, and a net of 362.

The firm says it highlights the ongoing market recovery with an "impressive" 216 light, single engine helicopters sold. Deliveries increased from 338 in 2021 to 344 in 2022, contributing to Airbus Helicopters’ preliminary 52% share of the civil and parapublic market. Airbus customers are back in the skies, too, with the brand's worldwide helicopter fleet logging hours on par with 2019 usage.

“2022 was a year in which Airbus Helicopters solidified its recovery, in a context of instability with the war in Ukraine and a fragile supply chain. I’d like to thank our customers for their continued trust in Airbus Helicopters. Our teams will continue to work hard to meet their needs and deliver on our commitments in 2023,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “Our orders came from 203 customers in 48 countries, underlining the importance of our global network as well as showing that in uncertain times, the role of helicopters is more essential than ever.”

Changes around the company include the first ACH160 delivered to a Brazilian customer, which took a ride aboard the wide-mouthed Airbus Beluga, in July 2022. Airbus Helicopters also saw the entry of its H160 into All Nippon service in Japan, as well as the start of the model's service as a SAR bird for the French Navy. Additional services and support contracts continued to be a bountiful source of income, too, with deals struck for the support of German and French NH90s. A follow-on contract with the US Army in a similar vein will support 480 UH-72A and UH-72B Lakota helicopters. On the civilian side, the brand's HCare was taken up for the service of 20 H145s and 6 ACH160s.

“It is no surprise that security is currently a priority for many countries. This is reflected in our order book with an important contract for 27 H125s with our longstanding partner, the Brazilian armed forces. We launched a major upgrade of the Tiger helicopter for the French and Spanish armies and we are also progressing with the design of the H175M assembly line in Broughton should we win the New Medium Helicopter campaign in the UK,” continued Even.

Advances in sustainable flight also abound, with headway being made on the Airbus VSR700 and the EU Next Generation Rotorcraft Technologies Project. Additional testing on sustainable aviation fuel has continued apace, setting the industry up for widespread availability in the coming years.

”The unveiling of our DisruptiveLab demonstrator at the Airbus Summit is another significant step to decarbonising vertical lift. The aircraft that took flight on 13 January will demonstrate our capability to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%. Our commitment to sustainability also saw us forge more partnerships that will support the optimal entry into service of the CityAirbus NextGen, our eVTOL prototype,” continued Even.

FMI: www.airbus.com

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