Airbus Helicopters Inc., the North American arm of Airbus Helicopters, delivered 55 civil rotorcraft into the U.S. and Canada last year. “One-third of the helicopters we delivered were air medical, another third were law enforcement, and the final third were actually private aviation and VIP,” said company president Chris Emerson, who added Airbus continued its dominance of the parapublic sector, winning 70 percent of available orders in the market.
According to Emerson, an uptick in orders from private customers for executive and VIP ships insulated Airbus from sales erosion in what remains a wobbly market. “If you look at any of the years prior to 2016, our share of private aviation was traditionally around 10 percent. It is thanks to that market that we have been able to hold a steady line in new orders and deliveries, because of the new customers we have been adding,” he said.
“Half of the new customers we added in 2017 were new to helicopters. We went after the fixed-wing marketplace and high-net-worth individuals who owned business jets but didn’t own helicopters and converted them into the helicopter market,” Emerson pointed out.