Eurocopter is counting on Asia driving its expansion over the next several years following the signing of deals in China, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea.

“We are very strong in North America and Europe. Asia is a growing area. It’s the biggest growth market for the company,” says Eurocopter chief executive Fabrice Brégier.

Eurocopter Malaysia was established in 2002 and opened its first maintenance facility in 2004 in Kuala Lumpur. In 2005 it opened a second facility in Miri and is planning to add facilities in Kota Bahru, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

Brégier says Eurocopter Malaysia will become “a regional player and be active in such countries as Thailand and the Philippines”. In addition to expanding its existing maintenance service, the subsidiary may also start assembling helicopters “for the Malaysian market and for the export market”. Eurocopter Malaysia expects to generate 293 million ringgit ($77 million) in revenues in 2005 and 20% of its business is already international.

Brégier predicts a doubling or tripling of Malaysia’s offshore fleet over the next few years, and he expects Composite Technology Research Malaysia to become a supplier for the Super Puma and EC725 and foresees a larger role for supplier SME Aerospace.

A co-development deal has been signed with China on the EC175, and Eurocopter is to co-develop a new South Korean 8t helicopter. In addition, the EC225 was selected last month in China and Japan.


Source: Flight International