Paris-based Heli-Union has taken delivery of two S-76C++ helicopters and ordered four EC175s for use in offshore oil and gas missions.
The contract with Sikorsky Aircraft Corp for the S-76Cs was signed in November 2010 and means Heli-Union now has eight aircraft operating internationally.
"Our experience with the S-76C++ helicopter has been a sound one," says deputy managing director Loïc Binard. "These additional aircraft are equipped with the latest navigation systems and offer greater transport capacity, comfort and safety."
Heli-Union's 50-year anniversary celebration was held at its Toussus-le-Noble maintenance centre in June, and saw a fly-over of an EC175 prototype and the signing of the contract with Eurocopter.
Eurocopter president and ceo Lutz Bertling explains: "As with many of Eurocopter's other products, Heli-Union provided valuable input during the EC175's development and we will continue to benefit from its expertise once the helicopter is in service." Deliveries of the EC175s are scheduled to begin in 2013.
Heli-Union performs air transport on behalf of oil and gas companies, helicopter maintenance, logistical and technical support and helicopter pilot training. It currently operates a young fleet of 30 helicopters. The 18 AS365s in its inventory make Heli-Union the world's second largest civilian operator of this type, and the company is preparing for the introduction of an AS365 N3/N3+ flight simulator at its training centre in Angoulême, France.