Deliveries of the new Eurocopter EC175 to initial customers appear to have drifted into the second half of 2014, despite certification still being scheduled for “early” next year.
The Marseille-headquartered airframer on 18 November said it was still targeting approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency in early 2014. Deliveries to three operators – Belgian company Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV), Russia’s UTair and Héli-Union of France – are pegged for “later” in 2014, without committing to a definite timeframe.
However, NHV says it is not scheduled to receive its first example of the EC175 until around October next year. Deliveries of the remainder of its 2012 order for 10 EC175s will run until 2016, it says.
Héli-Union also confirms a handover date well into the second half of the year. “Our aircraft will be delivered at the end of 2014,” it says. UTair did not respond to questions, however.
Eurocopter has previously unveiled a number of schedule delays for the EC175, with the most recent at June’s Paris air show pushing certification from this year into 2014.
In the meantime, Eurocopter is still trying to win new customers for the 7.5t type. On 2 December its first serial production aircraft (F-WMXB) departed for a three-week tour of Southeast Asia.
Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam will all be visited by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6C-powered helicopter.
The same aircraft was, on 24 and 25 November, presented to NHV and its customer Wintershall Noordzee at facilities in Ostend, Belgium and Rotterdam and Den Helder, the Netherlands.
Meanwhile, NHV has bolstered its management team with the appointment of Lode Ketele to the role of chief operations officer.
Ketele, a former head of Thomas Cook’s Belgian airline operation, says he was impressed with NHV when he worked for the company as a consultant during the summer. “I am proud to lead the operations within NHV and look forward to collaborating with our customers and suppliers,” he adds.