Airbus Sells 100 Helicopters To China

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Airbus will become the first foreign company to assemble helicopters in China, under a new deal to deliver 100 H135 aircraft. The deal is worth about $788 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. “With the further opening up of the Chinese skies and the increasing growth in the civil and parapublic segments, China is gearing up to be the biggest market for helicopters in years to come,” said Norbert Ducrot, an Airbus Helicopters official. Airbus said it expected demand for helicopters to rise as China’s power industry develops offshore wind farms. A new assembly facility will open in the coastal city of Qingdao in 2018. It will take about 10 years to deliver all 100 helicopters.

General aviation companies have encountered mixed results over the last decade or so as they try to break into the Chinese market. The country has been slow to create the infrastructure and regulatory system needed for general aviation and business flying to thrive. Embraer recently ended a 13-year effort to produce Legacy 650 jets in China, saying demand for private jets had failed to materialize. Embraer executives also said China’s tax system makes it cheaper for buyers to import aircraft rather than buy made-in-China versions, according to Bloomberg News.

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