24-Jun-2011 Source: Eurocopter
HÃ©li-Union is extending its long-standing relationship with Eurocopter by ordering four EC175 for offshore oil and gas missions, continuing this worldwide helicopter operatorâ€™s tradition in pioneering the introduction of highly capable new-generation rotary-wing aircraft.
The contract signature was officially announced today during HÃ©li-Unionâ€™s 50-year anniversary celebration, which was held at its Toussus-le-Noble maintenance center near Paris, France, and included a fly-over of Eurocopterâ€™s no. 1 EC175 prototype.
â€œThe EC175 order builds on a highly successful five-decade relationship with a very unique and important customer, and Eurocopter looks forward to continuing our partnership as HÃ©li-Union expands its oil and gas operations into new regions of the world,â€ said Eurocopter President & CEO Lutz Bertling. â€œAs with many of Eurocopterâ€™s other products, HÃ©li-Union provided valuable input during the EC175â€™s development, and we will continue to benefit from its expertise once the helicopter is in service.â€
With deliveries of these new seven ton-class helicopters to HÃ©li-Union beginning in 2013, the EC175 will introduce a new level of operational flexibility and comfort for international offshore oil and gas transportation services, as well being available for search & rescue missions.
â€œThe EC175 will bring enhanced operational capabilities and unmatched passenger comfort for HÃ©li-Unionâ€™s oil and gas operations,â€ explained HÃ©li-Union Chairman & CEO Jean-Christophe Schmitt. â€œEurocopter has been a key partner in our companyâ€™s success during the past 50 years, and our new contract marks an important step in the next chapter of our operations.â€
HÃ©li-Union currently operates a young fleet of some 30 helicopters, which includes Eurocopter,AS350, EC145, AS365 and AS332. The 18 AS365s in its inventory make HÃ©li-Union the worldâ€™s second largest civilian operator of this type, and the company is preparing for the introduction of an AS365 N3/N3+ flight simulator at its training center in AngoulÃªme, France, as well as the introduction of two EC225s in its fleet.
During the past 50 years, HÃ©li-Union has operated almost all of Eurocopterâ€™s product line, and was among the first customers to introduce the SA330 Puma in the civil version, the SA313 Alouette II, the SA315 Lama and the SA360/SA365 Dauphin. In addition, HÃ©li-Union has worked closely with Eurocopter in enhancing the overall and operational capabilities of Eurocopterâ€™s products thanks to the companyâ€™s operational experience in a full range of challenging environments.