Airbus Helicopters pins great hopes on promoting its H135 light twin-engine model on the Russian emergency medical services (EMS) market. One such aircraft, fitted with a medical module, is not just present in HeliRussia 2016’s static park: for the first time in the history of the exhibition, the manufacturer is organizing demonstrating flights for potential customers.
The H135 will also become the first Airbus Helicopters model to be built under license in Russia. The agreement to that effect was signed with Yekaterinburg-based Ural Works of Civil Aviation (UWCA) in early 2016.
Airbus Helicopters expects that 160 helicopters of this type can be sold in Russia in the next decade. The manufacturer is already in talks with Russian operators such as Gazprom avia, PANH as well as with the Ministry of Emergency Relief. The first Russian-assembled H135 is planned to be put into operation in 2017.
Emeric Lhomme, General Manager at the Russian subsidiary Airbus Helicopters Vostok, told Show Observer that the model was chosen for Russian assembly as the most suitable EMC type: “Almost 60% of EMS helicopters operated worldwide are AH helicopters, in the first place H135 helicopters.” The aircraft can transport two casualties and two medics.
Airbus Helicopters’ partnership with UWCA will not be restricted to supplying knock-down kits. It also implies organization of turnkey EMC solutions for Russian regions. “Together with our partner UWCA we will provide the helicopter, take care of the maintenance and the operations, the customer will just buy flight hours,” Lhomme noted.
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He mentioned that apart from the plans involving deliveries to local EMC operators the partners were looking into the possibility of setting up a dedicated helicopter operator to service the project.
“This initiative is supported by the government of Russia. Our purpose with our partner is to propose this solution in every region of Russia that is interested in this service,” Lhomme said, adding that under a contract with federal or regional government agencies each H135 could fly more than 300 hours per year.