Airbus Helicopters said on Thursday it had won a firm order for 43 aircraft from business aviation operator Air Corporate, marking its largest ever deal in Italy.
The world’s largest commercial helicopter maker said the order from Verona-based Air Corporate at the EBACE show in Geneva included 40 light single-engine H125/130 and three ACH160, a corporate version of its latest H160 medium model.
Airbus Helicopters said in a statement the helicopters would be delivered over coming years for various private and business passenger services as well as utility operations.
Airbus Helicopters is a division of planemaker Airbus, whose chief executive Guillaume Faury said last month the market for civil helicopters was recovering from a low point in 2021 and 2022. Profits are particularly driven by services, he said.
Now in its fifth decade, the H125/130 Ecureuil or Squirrel family is the world’s most-sold helicopter.
The medium-sized utility H160 was approved by Europe in 2020 and has since been cleared in Brazil and Japan.
Airbus Helicopters is waiting for certification in the United States, where aerospace approvals have slowed since the Boeing 737 jetliner crisis.
In April, GDAT, one of China’s biggest helicopter lessors, signed up for 50 H160 helicopters.
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)