CMIG Leasing has taken delivery of an Airbus Helicopters H125, making it the 100th Ecureuil family helicopter to operate in China. The Ecureuil family of light single-engine helicopters includes the H120, H125 and H130.
The helicopter will be operated by the Shanghai Skyway General Aviation Company (Skyway GAC), one of the pioneers in the Chinese general aviation sector, with a fleet of seven H125s. Skyway GAC will deploy the machine for power line surveillance, geographic surveys and aerial videography missions.
CMIG signed an agreement with Airbus Helicopters in 2015, to acquire 100 H125 and H130 Ecureuil aircraft over five years, with first deliveries starting in 2016.
Marie-Agnes Veve, Head of Airbus Helicopters China, says that the company captured 75% of the single-engine helicopter market in China in 2015.
The European firm has concluded a variety of production/co-production agreements in China over the years :
• The H120 has been produced by Harbin Aviation Group with the local designation HC120 under a coproduction agreement with Eurocopter signed in 2004.
• In March 2014, Airbus Helicopters and China’s Avicopter (the helicopters business unit of AVIC) signed a 20-year agreement for shared production of 1,000 H175/AC352 rotorcraft.
• Most recently, in June 2016, a Chinese consortium made up of China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS), Qingdao United General Aviation Industrial Development Company (Qingdao United) and CITIC Offshore Helicopter Co. Ltd (COHC) ordered 100 H135 light-twin helicopters, becoming China’s first customer to form an industrial partnership to launch a H135 final assembly line (FAL) in Qingdao, Shandong province. The FAL is expected to start operations by 2018, to assemble 100 H135s over the next 10 years.