Airbus to deliver first Canadian H145 in EMS configuration
Airbus Helicopters will deliver the first EMS-configured H145 to Canada in 2019.
The H145 was selected by Canadian operator STARS Air Ambulance as the replacement aircraft for its aging fleet of eight BK117s and three Leonardo AW139s.
The H145 was chosen due to its large cabin size and payload. The first tranche of H145s will be delivered in 2019 and will be based out of STARS’s base in Calgary, Alberta.
Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS said: “The impressive new H145 fleet is a generational investment in our future, helping us continue to provide critical-care services for decades to come. A unified fleet is considered best practice in terms of safety, fleet management, dispatch flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.”
To date, the H145 has achieved more than 100,000 flight hours since its entry into service in 2015, with more than 200 units delivered.
Airbus’s EMS push
This is the latest in the wave of EMS deliveries and orders Airbus has announced recently. Most recently, Airbus struck a deal with REACH Air Medical Services and Medical Air Rescue Company (MARC) for a total of six helicopters.
The helicopter manufacturer announced these deals at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Phoenix, Arizona last week.
Whilst there is still an excess of oil-and-gas aircraft in the helicopter market, EMS has remained a steady market both for OEMs and for lessors. The majority of helicopters going into the market are medium-class and light utility helicopters i.e. The Leonardo AW139 and H145s.
On the leasing front, LCI is among the biggest names in helicopter leasing and almost 50% of its fleet is placed in EMS roles. Speaking to Crispin Maunder at the beginning of the year, he said:
“EMS is steady as always. Even through the market downturn EMS held up so we are comfortable there and even optimistic, we have seen quite a few tenders come up this year that we are getting involved in.”