Nepal’s Shree Airlines has placed an order for eight helicopters from Eurocopter’s Ecureuil family – comprising five AS350 B3e and three EC130 T2 – for use in search and rescue, aerial work, disaster relief missions and heli-tourism. With this major acquisition, Shree Airlines becomes the largest Ecureuil operator in South Asia.
Shree Airlines, a leading helicopter operator in Nepal offering helicopter charter services, is increasing its fleet of Ecureuil helicopters after successfully operating one AS350 B3e which arrived in February this year. With the additional orders, Shree Airlines becomes the biggest operator of the Ecureuil fleet in the South Asia region with a total of nine aircraft, comprising six AS350 B3e and three EC130 T2.
The AS350 B3e – the newest evolution of the popular AS350 helicopter type – will be used in search and rescue, aerial work and disaster relief missions. The EC130 T2, being the first such helicopter of its kind to arrive in Nepal, is to perform tourism operations. First deliveries of the Ecureuil family aircraft for Shree Airlines will begin from early 2014.
“The Ecureuil will be a great asset for Shree Airlines as the range is well-known for its outstanding performance in harsh operating conditions,” said Eric Toussaint, CEO of the Eurocopter South East Asia subsidiary. “With our technical hub located in Eurocopter South East Asia’s Singapore facilities, we will ensure that full support to Shree Airlines is always close at hand.”
Both the AS350 B3e and EC130 T2 are members of Eurocopter’s rugged and proven Ecureuil family, and also are the latest members of their respective helicopter types. The AS350 B3e, evolved from the high-performance AS350 family, outclasses all other single-engine helicopters for performance, versatility, safety and competitive acquisition and maintenance costs. It also excels in hot conditions and very high altitudes, and has a seating capacity of up to six passengers.
The EC130 T2 offers one of the most spacious cabins in its class, and also is the quietest helicopter in the market – with its Fenestron® shrouded tail rotor and automatic variable rotor speed control resulting in significantly reduced external sound levels. This rotorcraft’s large windows offer exceptional visibility and spectacular views for up to seven passengers on board. The EC130 T2 is widely used for heli-tourism, and is a common sight along the U.S. Grand Canyon – where safety and environmental compatibility are key factors for helicopter operations.
Today, approximately 5,350 Ecureuils have been delivered in 130 countries to some 1,600 operators. These aircraft have accumulated close to 25 million flight hours.
Photo – Left : Sudhir Mittal, Director of Shree Airlines & right : D. Maudet, Executive Vice President Global Business and Services, Eurocopter
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