European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has been in the Philippines for more than 40 years now. Airbus Helicopters Philippines provides maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) as well as support and service solutions to more than 50 customers in the country through its Manila-based customer service center.
After formally launching the Airbus Helicopters H160 (formerly X4) at Heli-Expo in Orlando, Florida on 3 March 2015, Airbus Helicopters finally received the first order from Southeast Asia and Pacific for its ACH160 from an undisclosed customer in the Philippines for $18 million or P918 million excluding the personal specs demanded by the buyer. In fact, another Filipino HNWI has signed up for a demo and that he was likely to add the ACH160 to his fleet.
ACH160 is the rotorcraft’s first order coming from the Southeast Asia and Pacific region. The helicopter unit of the aerospace firm, Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH), said in a statement that the unnamed customer is the first to purchase the ACH160.
Airbus specified the helicopter would be used for private and business flights within the Philippine archipelago. For this purpose, the ACH160 Exclusive version will feature two wide hinged doors and electrical footsteps combined with a bespoke cabin. The twin-engine aircraft will be configured with a capacity of eight passengers.
Renowned for its combination of versatility and comfort, the ACH helicopter range is well regarded by passengers and pilots for its stylish interiors, smooth and quiet ride allied to its technologically advanced Helionix digital avionics systems ensuring carefree handling and a high level of safety.
“Launching the ACH160 in Southeast Asia with a new Philippine customer underlines the global attractiveness of our corporate helicopter offering to meet the evolving travelling needs of our customers,” said Frederic Lemos, head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters.
“We are equally excited to see our ACH products gaining good success in the growing Philippine private travel market.”
ACH said last month Chinese firm Shenzhen Eastern General Aviation Co. also signed an agreement to order one unit of ACH160, making it the first customer in China for the VIP version of the helicopter.
The full ACH range consists of the ACH125, ACH130, ACH135, new ACH145, ACH160 and ACH175. The OEM says “premium-design” completions, including customized solutions, are available for all models.
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