Shenzhen Eastern General Aviation Company (Shenzhen Eastern GAC) has signed an agreement for one ACH160, becoming the launch customer for the VIP version of this medium helicopter in China.
The aircraft will be used to perform mainly private and business aviation (PBA) missions around the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area of China, which is home to approximately 70 million people and contributes to 12% of China's GDP.
As a general aviation operator in the Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen Eastern GAC is the only general aviation company in China to participate in a pilot project that explores the easing of low-altitude airspace regulations in China. The company was also the first Chinese helicopter operator to fly between Hong Kong and the mainland. Its in-service helicopter fleet is made up of 12 aircraft, including three light twin-engine Airbus H135 helicopters.
Zhao Qi, Chairman of Shenzhen Eastern GAC, said: "The ACH160 is the natural next addition to our Airbus fleet of H135s as we look to bolster our PBA presence in the Greater Bay area and explore new opportunities targeting the private aviation market for which we already have a welldeveloped infrastructure in place."
"We're honoured that Shenzhen Eastern GAC has chosen to expand its partnership with Airbus Helicopters by bringing the ACH160 to China," said Marie Agnes Veve, head of the North Asia region and Airbus Helicopters China. "From its stylish interior and smooth ride, to its advanced Helionix digital avionics system, the ACH160 brings the perfect combination of versatility, comfort and technology to China's most discerning passengers and those that fly them."
The full ACH helicopter range consists of the ACH125, ACH130, ACH135, new ACH145, ACH160 and ACH175 variants of Airbus Helicopters' comprehensive and market-leading family of light and medium models. A range of premium-design aircraft completions, including bespoke solutions, is available for all models.
The H160 is Airbus Helicopters' innovative medium twin-engine helicopter designed to create added value for customers in terms of performance, economic competitiveness, safety and comfort. Configurations being developed include offshore transportation, business and private, public services, and commercial passenger transport. Its entry into service is planned for 2020.