Helsinki Citycopter has ordered two corporate Airbus ACH130 helicopters. It will take delivery of both in the spring and will launch commercial flights in summer 2022.
“Since the 1980s, Finland has not seen corporate-level helicopters like these, and once we receive the helicopters in the spring, we will have the best fleet in the Nordic countries. The best in the market in terms of quiet operation and environmental impact in this size range, these helicopters are also equipped with technology that increases safety and comfort,” says co-founder Joonas Nurmi.
Helsinki Citycopter began operations in 2020, capitalising on the growing popularity of helicopter services for the general public during the pandemic because of flight restrictions. Encouraged by the higher demand, the company decided to expand its fleet and chose the Airbus ACH130 not only for its flight properties and safety but also its environmental friendliness. Manufacturing a helicopter ready for delivery takes about seven months, and the market value of an ACH130 is approximately 3.5 million euros. The company's fleet now numbers five helicopters, the others being Airbus H125, EC120 and Robinson R44 helicopters.
The Airbus ACH130 is more spacious than earlier helicopters used for civilian flights in Finland. The soundproofed cabin is equipped with air conditioning, and the raised rear part of the cabin offers an unobstructed view in all directions. The turbine engine has been improved to be more fuel-efficient, which reduces its environmental impact.
"The new helicopter is not only efficient, safe and stable, but in terms of the distance and number of passengers, it consumes less fuel than an average-sized motorboat,” adds Nurmi. “These investments are indeed in line with our sustainability strategy aimed at carbon neutrality. We are the only aviation company whose service has been granted the Sustainable Travel Finland label, and these new helicopters aim to reduce flight emissions even further.”
The seven-seater ACH130 has a maximum speed of 240 km/h with a maximum flight time of four hours, so is capable of covering the country quickly. Nurmi continues: “With these new helicopters, we can offer more people memorable travel experiences and a quicker connection to places that have previously been difficult to access, or at least taken a long time to reach, in Finland. As an air-travel hub, Helsinki-Vantaa Airport will continue to connect Europe and Asia, so our service will be welcomed by transit travellers who want to see as much as possible in a short space of time. At best, we can take customers on board during the few hours they have between flights. We strongly believe that helicopter travel will also increase in Finland.”