An undisclosed customer in the Philippines has placed an order for the first Airbus ACH160 in the Southeast Asia and Pacific region.
It will be used for private and business flights within the Philippines, the company announced July 22.
The H160, Airbus Helicopters’ medium twin, is currently in EASA certification testing and should enter service in 2020. Versions are available for the offshore transportation, business and private, public services, and commercial passenger transport markets.
Airbus expects the H160 to receive type certification by EASA later this year, followed by FAA approval about six months later. Airbus plans to reach a production rate of 30 aircraft per year by 2022, ramping up to 50 once it enters service with the French military as the H160M Guépard, or Cheetah.
EASA in June certified the Safran Arrano 1A engine that powers the H160 aircraft.
The aircraft destined for the Philippines will be configured as an ACH160 Exclusive, with two wide hinged doors and electrical footsteps combined with a bespoke cabin with seating for up to eight passengers in an “elegant and refined handcrafted interior for a truly business-jet like experience,” Airbus said in a statement.
Equipped with Blue Edge blades and a new, canted Fenestron rotor, the ACH160 will be backed by HCare First premium support agreement, also a first for the region.
“Launching the ACH160 in Southeast Asia with a new Philippine customer underlines the global attractiveness of our corporate helicopters offering to meet the evolving travelling needs of our customers,” said Frederic Lemos, head of Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH). “We are equally excited to see our ACH products gaining good success in the growing Philippine private travel market.”
The full ACH range consists of the ACH125, ACH130, ACH135, new ACH145, ACH160 and ACH175 variants of the family of light and medium models. A range of premium-design aircraft completions, including customized solutions, is available for all models.
Airbus has been present in the Philippines for some 40 years leading the corporate and parapublic helicopter market segments. Through its Manila-based customer centre, Airbus Helicopters Philippines provides maintenance, repair and overhaul, support and service solutions to more than 50 customers.