Airbus is increasing its share of the civil and parapublic helicopter market, and is positioning itself to further broaden this part of its portfolio into 2023 and beyond. Thus reported Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters, and Romain Trapp, President and Head of Airbus Helicopters, Inc., the North America operation.
Even noted his company’s share of the world market for bookings in this sector increased from 51% in 2021 to 54% in 2022. While North America and Western Europe are the only regions showing post-pandemic era growth, he added: “there are overall positive trends in the commercial market to include emergency medical services and oil and gas. We expect this situation to continue into next year.”
Even further remarked that 2022 was a “strong year” with his sector logging 374 orders and 344 deliveries. The CEO added the company’s external revenue is currently split, 44% generated from the civilian market and 56% from the military space.
Trapp indicated his Grand Prairie, Texas-based office saw a 10% increase in flight hours when compared to 2019. “For 2023, we also expect significant gains again in revenue – by 10%, as well as 20% growth in deliveries and a 61% overall market share in North America.”
The executive also highlighted a market shift – to a 50%-50% split between single- and twin-engine Airbus models. This trend and the sheer increase in Airbus rotary aircraft orders are among the forces generating significant changes for the company’s simulation and training services and infrastructure.
Emerging Training Underpinnings
In one instance, Trapp revealed plans for the addition of the first H160 full-flight simulator (FFS) in North America. The executive pointed out, “The H160 features the highest level of innovation and was designed to provide our customers with tremendous value in comfort, performance and safety, regardless of the mission they’re carrying out. The addition of an H160 FFS in North America ensures pilots have easy access to a smooth transition between theory and practice.”
Helisim, an Airbus Helicopters and Thales joint venture, is investing in the new H160 Level D FFS. The simulator is expected to accommodate approximately 400 pilots a year, with a potential of more than 4,000 training hours annually. The FFS will be located at the Helisim Simulation Center inside the Airbus Helicopters facility in Grand Prairie. Trapp told Halldale Media the new FFS “is expected to be ready for use as early as the second half of 2025.”