Airbus Helicopters marks 60 years of partnership with Japan this year. Since its predecessor Sud Aviation entered into an exclusive distributorship agreement with Nozaki & Co in 1960, and then delivered the first Alouette II to the country in 1961, there are over 370 Airbus Helicopters flying in the country today for a variety of missions across business segments.
“We are indeed very happy to celebrate this milestone today with the partners and customers who have journeyed with us. As a company, we have navigated through many challenges, starting as a distributor and subsequently adding maintenance and training capabilities over the years. Today, Airbus Helicopters Japan has established itself in the country, offering a comprehensive range of helicopter solutions for customers in Japan,” states Stephane Ginoux, head of north Asia region, Airbus.
MD of Airbus Helicopters Japan Guillaume Leprince adds: “We thank our customers and partners who have shown their continued confidence and trust. This achievement demonstrates the reliability of our products and services, and confirms the strong relationship between Japan and Airbus. We stay committed to further our cooperative ties with the Japanese industries and continue to render our best support for our customers' success and safe operations.”
Airbus Helicopters has a team of 330 personnel based in Tokyo and Kobe, offering a suite of helicopter products and solutions across every segment. Aircraft completion, maintenance, engineering, technical support and training are provided at the company's centre of excellence in Kobe, as with aircraft and spare parts sales. In January 2020, the company extended its footprint with a new hangar in Kobe, adding overall capacity by 60 per cent, to handle 40 medium-sized helicopters all at the same time. This translates to over 80 helicopters per year for MRO projects.
Airbus Helicopters estimates that it leads the Japanese civil and parapublic market with a 53 per cent market share, serving over 100 operators. It delivered ten new helicopters and secured over 40 per cent of the new bookings available in Japan last year. Airbus Helicopters' Kobe facility also acts as the regional hub for engineering, blade repair, and H135 helicopter training, equipped with a full flight simulator.