By BILQIS BAHARI @ NEWS STRAITS TIMES.
Airbus head of sales in Asia Pacific Fabrice Rochereau said the future demand would be driven by fleet modernisation, fleet renewals, training and maritime security.
KUALA LUMPUR: Airbus sees a big growth potential in Malaysia for its military and parapublic helicopters over the next five to 10 years.
The European helicopter maker’s head of sales in Asia Pacific Fabrice Rochereau said the future demand would be driven by fleet modernisation, fleet renewals, training and maritime security.
“Malaysia is a very important market for Airbus Helicopters where we are firmly rooted. We also see immense prospects across the various segments where we are confident that our products represent the best combination of capability and value,” he said at a media roundtable session at the Defence Services Asia exhibition here today.
Speaking on the parapublic market, Rochereau said there was increasing demand in the law enforcement, maritime security and helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) segments with Airbus’ light-twin H135 helicopter as the top choice. MORE NEWS
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He added that for the military segment, the demand for helicopters would be fuelled by a mix of new acquisitions and replacements across military training, maritime security, search and rescue, and tactical transport.
“This is a market best suited for Airbus’ H175 for maritime and rescue operations, the H135 for training, and the H225M to meet a wide range of mission requirements,” he said.
Currently, there is a total of 194 in-service helicopters in Malaysia with Airbus leading the market by capturing 42 per cent of the share or over 80 Airbus helicopters in service in the country.
Of the 80 Airbus helicopters, 37.8 per cent are military helicopters such as the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s fleet of H22M, the Royal Malaysian Navy’s AS555SN Fennec rotorcraft and the Royal Malaysian Police’s AS355 fleet.
Thirty per cent of the Airbus Helicopters in Malaysia are in the civil and parapublic segments such as the AS365, H130, H135 and H145 that are used for search and rescue, emergency medical services and passenger transport.
Meanwhile, Airbus Malaysia country head, Raymond Lim said the company was looking to increase its presence in the country with its Airbus Helicopters Malaysia subsidiary in Subang.
The helicopter company offers services including the sale and distribution of helicopter products and services, and maintenance, overhaul and modification work, logistics support, ground handling and hangarage.
Rochereau added that the Airbus Helicopters Malaysia Simulation Centre was also located in Subang.
It houses the region’s only training simulators for the H225 and H225M helicopters, as well as a second simulator for AS365 Dauphin training.