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Friday, June 6, 2014

Bell Bolsters Chinese Presence with Recent Sales

By Emma Kelly, Australia and Pacific Correspondent

Bell Helicopters has boosted its presence in the Chinese helicopter market following the recent signing of a purchase agreement with Xinjang Tianyun General Aviation Company for a new Bell 407GX. As the company’s first helicopter, it will be used for sightseeing, VIP transport and agriculture support.

The latest sale in China follows a number announced by Bell this year, including two 407GXs to Harbin-based Beidahuang Group for agricultural work and personnel transport, and purchase agreements for three Bell 505 Jet Ranger X helicopters from China Star Aero, with options for seven more.

Aerochine Aviation, Bell’s representative in eastern and southern China, Hong Kong and Macau, has signed purchase agreements for five 505X Jet Rangers, having identified opportunities in corporate transport, tourism and training.

China has one of the fastest growing civil helicopter fleets in the world and manufacturers are keen to gain a foothold. Airbus Helicopters recently cemented its place in the market with the signing of an agreement with Avicopter for the production of 1,000 new generation EC175/AC352s. The AC352 will be assembled and supported in China by Avicopter for the Chinese market, while the EC175 will be assembled and supported in Europe for the worldwide market. Airbus also picked up the order for the country’s first helicopter fully equipped for helicopter EMS missions. One EC135 P2e has been ordered by Beijing Red Cross Foundation subsidiary 999 Emergency Rescue Center with an option on a second.

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