High flyers and industry players will have a new option next year when the EC175 helicopter from Eurocopter Malaysia Sdn Bhd hits the market.
Declining to reveal the unit price of the rotorcraft, Eurocopter head of marketing operations Pierre-Olivier Mathian said he expects local demand to be healthy, which is why the Asia tour for the EC175 will start in Malaysia.
“Next year, we will start by delivering five to 10 units of the EC175 helicopters worldwide, increase it to 20 per year after that, and then push the numbers up to 40 units per year worldwide,” said Mathian.
“We call the EC175 a heavy-medium craft as it weighs between four and 7.5 tonnes – depending on the configuration,” he explained.
Mathian said there are a lot of big-name customers in Malaysia, as well as buyers from the oil and gas (O&G) sector, adding that they prefer to own their own helicopers rather than lease them.
Next year, he said, the O&G sector will get the first delivery of the rotorcraft and, globally, two big-name customers have already booked their own EC175s.
He also said the company has received a healthy number of orders from these parties.
In conjunction with the Asian tour which also include Thailand and Vietnam, an Oil & Gas Symposium was held by Eurocopter. These include demonstration flights conducted for the benefit of seasoned pilots from oil and gas support companies throughout Asia which include MHS Aviation, Awan Inspirasi and others.
Just like MHS Aviation, Awan Inspirasi is yet another significant operators of the EC 225 Super Puma Mk II helicopters in which the company had used to support oil and gas operations in East Malaysia.
Eurocopter brought in the EC175 unit for demonstration for operators in the civil, military, law enforcement and parapublic sectors. The EC175 could carry 16 passengers over a distance of 140 nautical miles, or 12 passengers over a distance of 200 nautical miles.
More on EC175 Asian Tour here