HAI Heli Expo 2020 – OEM round up


Airbus Helicopters Heli Expo 2020 Booth

Airbus Helicopters Heli Expo 2020 Booth

To announce at shows or not to announce at shows? That’s the question for OEMs planning their event coverage. Airbus generally prefers big announcements to dominate the headlines whereas Sikorsky often forgoes any fanfare.

The biggest announcement at last week’s HAI Heli Expo in Anaheim was Leonardo’s plan to acquire up-and-coming helicopter manufacturer Kopter. The deal will consist of a $185m fixed component that is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.

Both OEMs win, Kopter gets a large investment to bring the aircraft to market and Leonardo gets a complimentary aircraft to add to its portfolio, with no development costs.

Airbus Helicopters netted a total of 38 orders and 20 new H145 retrofits at the show. German air ambulance provider DRF Luftrettung placed the biggest order for 15 H145s, making it the largest H145 operator.

Bell announced five separate orders for a total of 10 aircraft at the show – a comparatively small number when considering Airbus. But with Bell still riding a healthy backlog of orders from Chinese operators over recent years, it is not short on contracts.

None of the orders were for Bell’s late-coming competitor to the super-medium market, the 525 Relentless, for which Bell is keeping backlog figures quiet.

2020 didn’t have as many heady order numbers and partnerships seen in previous years – such as Bell netting an order for 100 407s at HAI 2017 – but no one expected that. Many lessors and operators still have a lot of aircraft parked as they try to find new missions to fly on. But it’s a promising sign that orders are still coming in.

In other news:

If you want to see all of the announcements from this year’s HAI Heli Expo, you can catch up on Helicopter Investor by clicking the links below:

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