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Aviation News Support, a vector for growth for Airbus Helicopters

Support, a vector for growth for Airbus Helicopters

Léo Barnier
26 MAR 2020 | 443 words
Support, a vector for growth for Airbus Helicopters
© Airbus Helicopters
The transformation of the Airbus Helicopters economic model has just reached a new level. Support is now just as important as platforms when it comes to the European helicopter manufacturer's order books. In the future, this will also be the case for revenue. In his analysis of the 2019 results released a few weeks ago, Bruno Even, the CEO of Airbus Helicopters, didn't miss the opportunity to emphasise the importance of this activity to keeping the company stable despite an uncertain environment. And in the future, support should stand out as one of the main growth relays.

"2019 was a very good year. For the first time, we had as many orders for services as for platforms", says a happy Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President in charge of support and customers at Airbus Helicopters, since last September. These after sales contracts enabled nearly 3.5 billion Euro to be generated out of a total of 7.2 billion Euro in orders, up 13% in relation to 2018.

This significant step forward will enable Airbus Helicopters to comfortably achieve its objective of seeing half its turnover generated by support and services. This share was 41% in 2018 and 43% last year. The company should reach 50% this year or next says Christoph Zammert, depending on how the market develops. The growth in services has been aided naturally by the weakness in platform sales since 2015. The share was 47% that year.

Towards overall support

Christoph Zammert is also taking care when analysing the consequences of this weakness. He freely admits that the drop-off in operator activity is being passed onto support, in particular with a reduction in the use of spare parts. Conversely, he explains that Airbus Helicopters customers are increasingly calling on flying hour contracts (FBH) in order to control costs. In the same way, they are holding onto their helicopters for longer, which is opening up possibilities for modernising and converting fleets - like the H225s which are facing up to the collapse in the offshore industry and are being reconfigured for new missions. The head of support feels that these are elements which will enable his company to be resilient.

This attraction for HCare Smart (FBH) and above all HCare Infinite (availability commitment) overall contracts is a major trend in the civilian and military sectors alike. Airbus Helicopters is targeting growth of around 10% in the number of helicopters covered in 2019 in relation to 2018 and has reached 12%. This accounts for 2 250 machines - 452 civilian helicopters, 561 parapublic helicopters and 1237 military helicopters - 20% of the constructor's installed worldwide fleet. And Christoph Zammert indicates that customers are extremely satisfied with the service they receive, with a 95% renewal rate for these contracts.
Léo Barnier
Specialized journalist
Industry & Technology, Equipments, MRO


 
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