Eurocopter has inaugurated an Indian subsidiary as it identifies opportunities for growth in the country's helicopter market.
"The Indian helicopter industry has great potential for expansion, given the country's expanding economy, its size and challenging terrain, as well as the industrial potential," says Eurocopter India chief executive Marie-Agnès Veve. "Eurocopter is the world's first major helicopter manufacturer to establish a subsidiary in India, which underscores our objective of being a key player in this very important marketplace."
The subsidiary will be in New Delhi. An existing facility in Bangalore will be used for "the management of industrial activity", says Eurocopter. In 2012, an engineering facility will be established in Bangalore, and a commercial office in Mumbai. The company now employs 30 in India, but expects this to grow significantly.
Twenty-three civil and government entities operate Eurocopter helicopters in India, says the company. Eurocopter also plans to expand its 40-year relationship with Hindustan Aeronautics - which has produced 600 of the company's Lama and Alouette III helicopters under licence.
Meanwhile, Eurocopter has sold seven AS350 B3 Ecureuil helicopters to the Iraqi agriculture ministry. The single-engined aircraft will be used for crop spraying missions across the country, notably its date palm trees - which are a major source of revenue for Iraq. Deliveries are set to begin in the first quarter of 2011.