Airbus Helicopters reported that it logged 419 gross orders and 414 net orders in 2021, up from 289 gross (268 net) in 2020, suggesting signs of the helicopter market’s recovery post-pandemic.
The orders were signed across a broad range of markets, with 167 customers in 45 countries, and included contracts for 147 H125, 48 H130, 65 H135, 93 H145 and 52 H160 aircraft.
This included substantial orders in continental Europe, including the purchase of 40 H160, eight H225M and two H145 helicopters in France; 36 H135s in Spain, and eight H145s by the Bavarian state police force.
Airbus also reportedly delivered 338 helicopters in 2021, an increase from 300 deliveries in 2020. Key deliveries included the first H225M, which arrived in Singapore in March, the first H225M in a naval combat configuration, delivered to the Brazilian Navy, the first NH 90 TTH for Qatar, and the first UH-72B from the factory in Columbus, Mississippi.
2021 was ‘a year of major commitments’ for Airbus
The company also ramped up deliveries of its five-bladed H145 deliveries in 2021, as well as completing the first retrofit of a H145 to five blades in partnership with German emergency services operator DRF Luftrettung.
Airbus also signed a support contract with Air Methods covering 80 EC135s under its HCare brand in 2021, and launched its HCare Classics service products, which offers custom services for legacy fleets comprising approximately 2,000 in-service H120, Dauphin, Puma and Gazelle aircraft.
Airbus also successfully received certification from both the US Federal Aviation Administration and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for performance improvements to the H125, which includes a 10 per cent power increase provided by the Arriel 2D engines.
“2021 was a year of major commitments for Airbus Helicopters,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “We committed to developing new products and services that fulfil our customers’ requirements such as launching the development of an innovative H160M for the French armed forces’ joint light helicopter programme and creating the new service package HCare Classics for customers that operate our legacy helicopters. We also delivered the first ever H160 to Japanese operator All Nippon Helicopter.”