Airbus Helicopters is very busy with demonstration tours. In addition to the recently reported H145 in Asia and H215 in South America, we can add that they have an H175 in Nigeria targeting the African offshore support industry. The helicopter made its maiden flight demonstration yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the main airport for the capital Lagos. There has been no formal announcement of this from the manufacturer.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the flight was witnessed by Mr Regis Magnac, Vice President and Head of Operational Marketing, Airbus Helicopters and a former Minister of Interior, Capt. Emmanuel Ihenacho. Speaking at the ceremony, Magnac was also pushing the SAR capabilities of the H175, as well as the expected commercial promotion of the H175 to the offshore market representatives who were present.
There is currently only two operators – Belgian based NHV – flying six H175s and UTair in Russia with one. A total of 101 H175s are now on order or option, including 36 booked in 2015. NHV have significant interest in the West African offshore market, currently with Dauphin, H155 and L2 Super Puma helicopters – although they did announce recently on their LinkedIn company page that they have H155 and Super Puma aircraft available for sale. We expect that the demonstration of the H175 in Nigeria is likely to be a precursor to the service introduction in the region by NHV.
Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com
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