12-Dec-2022 Source: HeliHub.com
Ahead of any announcement by Airbus Helicopters, the HeliHub research team have been monitoring social media posts about the first Airbus H175 to arrive in Asia for commercial operations.
The region is already home to ten H175s, with Hong Kong Government Flying Service fleet of seven SAR examples, and the Royal Thai Police flying a pair of ACH175s on VIP work. Airbus partner AVIC have a development H175 aircraft in China to bring the total into double figures.
In March 2019, Airbus reported a sale of two SAR machines to the Rescue and Salvage Bureau of the Chinese Ministry of Transport, but there has never been any report of these being delivered or in service – we believe the pair remain at the production line in Marignane, France. The operator has since ordered six AW189s according to a press release in March 2022.
We can confirm that the commercial operator is Hornbill Skyways in Malaysia, and their black and red (hornbill) bird logo appears on the side of an otherwise all-white aircraft in this image. The helicopter will be operated from their base at Kuching International Airport
Hornbill currently operate six Airbus helicopters – one H155 and five H135s – according to their website. Additionally they have four older Bell 206s – two JetRangers and two LongRangers. The company’s fixed wing division fly two Beech 350s, one Beech B200 and a Challenger 605 jet.