Eurocopter Announces First Canadian Sale of EC 145 Aircraft
FORT ERIE, Ontario – Eurocopter Canada Limited is pleased to announce the first sale of its EC145 helicopter to a Canadian operator following certification of the aircraft last fall.
VIH Aviation Group – headquartered in North Saanich, British Columbia – has purchased four EC145 aircraft, which it plans to use in the Canadian oil and natural gas sector. The medium-sized, twin engine helicopter incorporates state-of-the-art technologies such as a glass cockpit with exceptional man-machine interface, redundant main systems, and new main rotor blades.
VIH Aviation Group’s purchase of the EC145 aircraft coincides with the company’s purchase of six Eurocopter AS350 B3 helicopters, along with an option to purchase six additional AS350 B3s at a later date. The B3 is a high performance, single engine helicopter that offers superior ceiling and lift capacity.
“We’re pleased to be buying this helicopter at this time,” Ken Norie, president and chief executive officer of VIH Aviation Group, said of the EC 145 aircraft. “We feel that the EC145 will provide service to a developing market niche that is part of our growth strategy.”
This sale represents the first EC 145 helicopters purchased by a Canadian operator since the aircraft received full certification from Canadian regulators last autumn. The EC145 ties into Eurocopter Canada’s focus on next generation technology and twin engine sales.
“We’re thrilled to mark this milestone sale in the history of our company,” said Marie-Agnès Vève, president and chief executive officer of Eurocopter Canada. “We are confident that the EC145 will be a popular and reliable aircraft within Canada’s civilian helicopter market.”
Mr. Norie at VIH Aviation Group also expressed enthusiasm about his company’s purchase of the AS350 B3 helicopters, which carry up to six passengers plus a pilot, and come with a VEMD multifunction cockpit display to reduce pilot workload and fatigue.
“The increased performance of the B3 will allow us to carry larger payloads to higher altitudes. This will be useful for our North American clients, and will create opportunities for us in the international market,” said Mr. Norie.
Ms. Vève of Eurocopter said the B3 is unique in its class and that it is “The perfect single engine helicopter for operators looking for that extra measure of performance.”
Eurocopter Canada is significantly growing its operations throughout the country, including an expansion of its main facility in Fort Erie, Ontario; the opening a new logistics facility in Richmond, British Columbia; and re-establishing its operations in Quebec. Eurocopter Canada forecasts that it will deliver its 500th helicopter in Canada within the next 12 months.
About VIH Aviation Group
The VIH Aviation Group is headquartered at the Victoria (BC) International Airport with bases strategically located throughout Canada, the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska, Australia and China. The VIH Aviation Group, through its operating entities VIH Helicopters Ltd. and Cougar Helicopters Inc., operate 65 helicopters of varying sizes and have in excess of 30 more on order. The VIH Group is well positioned to service all sectors, some of which include Off Shore Oil and Gas, Natural Resources, Heavy lift, EMS and Tourism. The VIH Aviation Group currently employs 550 people.
About Eurocopter Canada Limited
Eurocopter Canada Limited (www.eurocopter.ca) is a subsidiary of Eurocopter. Eurocopter Canada – based in Fort Erie, Ontario – has a customer support network that spans the entire country. Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 14,000 people. In 2007, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s number one helicopter manufacturer in the civil and Para public market, with a turnover exceeding 4 billion euros, orders for 802 new helicopters, and a 53 percent market share in the civil and Para public sectors. Overall, the group’s products account for 30 per cent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 17 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. More than 10,000 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest range of commercial and military helicopters in the world.
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