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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eurocopter’s £100 Million Investment in UK Pays Off

By Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief

Kicking off the opening day of Helitech on Tuesday, Eurocopter’s Dominique Maudet, executive vice president of global business and services, said that the manufacturer’s market share in the UK “was something special in Eurocopter.”

With new president and CEO Guillaume Faury unable to fly to London as flights were cancelled due to fog, Maudet hosted a press briefing in which he emphasized that Eurocopter was now a 50/50 helicopter manufacturer/services company.

 

Eurocopter's Dominique Maudet (left) and Markus Steinke during a September 24 press conference at Helitech International 2013 in London. Photo by Andrew Drwiega

 

Markus Steinke, managing director of Eurocopter UK, said that the division had experienced significant growth and change following the buyout from McAlpine Helicopters (November 2007) and the acquisition of Vector Aerospace (in June 2011). Said Steinke: “We have invested over £100 million in the UK and now have more than 1,500 people working with us. Half of the UK civil fleet is Eurocopter. It has paid off.”

Addressing the August 23 Super Puma crash in which four people died, Maudet said Eurocopter understood the pain and sadness that the accident had caused and had been shocked by the incident. He said that while they continued to wait for the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) to publicly report its findings, the preliminary report to date did not reveal that a “technical event” had caused the crash. “We are fully supporting the AAIB,” he confirmed.

In terms of flight safety, Maudet said that the topic was complex and involved issues such as the size of the cabin, the size of the doors and windows and the position of seating. “This is a real global issue and I hope it contributes toward the future safety of aircraft.”

Related: Airframe News

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