Eurocopter, the worldâ€™s leading supplier of civil, law enforcement, emergency response, military and utility helicopters, has experienced a 35 per cent increase in its Southern African business as countries in the region invest in airborne law-enforcement and civic emergency response capabilities.
The companyâ€™s regional subsidiary, Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd, supports an ever-expanding Southern African customer base and fleet.
â€œFor 2010, Eurocopter Southern Africa expects to book around ZAR 460 millions (â‚¬50.4 millions) of orders, with a turnover of roughly ZAR 380 million (â‚¬41.6 millions). This 35% per cent increase on 2009 order book reflects the current market trends, which have seen growth in para-public orders and deliveries,â€ explains Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd CEO, Fabrice Cagnat.
Despite the recession, which has affected the global aerospace industry and rotorcraft sector, Eurocopter has maintained its position as the leading manufacturer with 52 per cent of the civil and parapublic market.
Eurocopter predicts that Southern Africaâ€™s market is set for further recovery in line with improved global and regional economies. The company is well placed to take advantage of the forecast resurgence, thanks to the widest range of modern, efficient helicopters and its ability to tailor these to customersâ€™ specific needs.
â€œThe proven suitability of our various civil and military products places Eurocopter in the prime position to take advantage of the global and African marketsâ€™ resurgence. While corporate and utility sectors have followed the low trend of 2009, demand for helicopters has remained strong in the para-public domain for law enforcement, public safety and environmental protectionâ€, adds Cagnat.
Eurocopter currently supports a fleet of about 240 helicopters operating throughout Southern Africa. Most of these aircraft are in service with the police services in the region, emergency medical rescue organisations, VIP/corporate operations and utility missions where they are used, for example, in geo-seismic missions, game counting and powerline inspection. A number of helicopters are also flown in the tourism/charter market.
The company can also count on its recently established Training Academy at Lanseria, near Johannesburg, to further develop business. This academy provides type rating and technical training for helicopter pilots and engineers for customers across the region. To meet the increased training demand, Eurocopter Southern Africa will employ an additional instructor from 2011. To date, more than 150 pilots and 220 engineering personnel have undergone training at the Academy.
Eurocopter Southern Africa continues to provide technical support to customers in the region, having deployed its engineers on more than 80 missions in the past year. â€œBecause our helicopters deliver superior performance and are easy to maintain, they are first choice for tough missions, often far from their home base. We are committed to supporting these aircraft and in honouring that commitment, our technical teams often have to service aircraft in some challenging and remote locations, such as the jungles in the Democratic Republic of Congo,â€ says Cagnat.
â€œOur investments demonstrate Eurocopter Southern Africaâ€™s dedication and commitment to provide first class customer service in Southern Africa, and emphasises our long-term commitment to the region,â€ Cagnat added.
Eurocopter is convening the 2nd Airborne Law Enforcement Seminar in Cape Town to coincide with the biennial Africa Aerospace & Defence show taking place in the city this week. Eurocopter will exhibit its range of light and medium helicopter products at the show. Also on exhibit is the joint Eurocopter-ATE developed Stand Alone Weapon System (SAWS). Visit Eurocopter in Hangar 5 on Stand 5/ N16.
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, aworld leader in aerospace, defence and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the worldâ€™s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Groupâ€™s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centres. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.