The 16 aircraft are expected to be delivered between late 2008 and late 2012. CHC plans to put these aircraft into service as part of the Company's fleet renewal plan, in support of new offshore oil and gas contracts, and potentially as Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft. CHC is making this commitment to meet the unprecedented demand from our various customers including both the offshore oil and gas industry and government sponsored SAR.
This new, 16-helicopter order, will supplement the six EC225 aircraft CHC currently has on order. The original six aircraft, which are expected to be delivered by December 2008, will support contracts with Total E&P UK PLC, Total E&P Norge AS as well as other customers in the North Sea and elsewhere. CHC, which is the largest civilian Super Puma family operator with 30 Mark 1 and 20 Mark 2 variants, now continues this relationship with Eurocopter by significantly expanding its EC225 fleet.
The EC225 fleet will be fully supported by CHC subsidiary Heli-One, the world's largest independent helicopter MRO and logistics support company. Building on more than 25 years' experience with the Super Puma family, Heli-One will provide total MRO support for the advanced EC225. Heli-One has been granted an exclusive license to perform repair and overhaul on EC225 components.
"The success of our heavy product range has always been closely linked to the success of CHC," said Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter. "Based on the company's huge experience with the Super Puma family of helicopters, we are pleased to see the EC225 selected by CHC to serve its clients including, Total E&P's UK and Norwegian operations in the North Sea. The EC225 benefits from many technological enhancements developed from the entire Eurocopter product line and it sets new standards of safety, comfort and performance for offshore services."
Sylvain Allard, President and CEO of CHC stated that "We are delighted to continue to partner with Eurocopter to respond to the ever-growing requirements of our customers. The EC225 meets and exceeds their needs for modern, safe, comfortable and efficient helicopters. CHC through its European and Global operating subsidiaries, which are fully supported by Heli-One, is uniquely positioned to offer this aircraft to the world."
The EC225 is the latest and most advanced member of Eurocopter's family of twin-engine, long-range helicopters. Its mission focus lies on passenger transport - in particular offshore and VIP, and its versatility also makes it a perfect aircraft for public service missions such as Search and Rescue (SAR). It has a maximum take-off weight of 11 metric tons and significantly increased performance capabilities such as a new-five-bladed main rotor system, a reinforced main rotor gear box, and an integrated display and piloting system.
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 approx. 14,000 people. In 2006, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's No. 1 helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 3.8 billion euros, orders for 615 new helicopters, and a 52% percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's products account for 30% percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 16 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. More than 9,800 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.
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