French helicopter operator HeliDax and Airbus Helicopters have signed the first-ever HCare Classics support contract to optimise the availability of HeliDax’s H120 fleet. HCare Classics is Airbus’ new support package entirely dedicated to meeting the support needs of the company’s out-of-production legacy helicopters.
An H120 operator since 2008, HeliDax relies on its fleet of 36 H120s to provide basic and advanced training to the French and Belgian armed forces and the French Gendarmerie. Since the beginning of this partnership with the French government 14 years ago, HeliDax has maintained an availability level of 100 percent and has accumulated 246,000 hours of H120 flight time, training multiple generations of helicopter pilots. This translates to as many as 22,000 flight hours per year.
HeliDax’s fleet is the largest in-service H120 fleet in the world today. With eight years remaining in the pilot training programme contract, HeliDax selected HCare Classics to benefit from the OEM’s guaranteed support performance.
“To continue guaranteeing our fleet and service availability until the end of our contract with the government in 2030, it is essential to have a strong commitment from our major partner, Airbus Helicopters, in terms of support and obsolescence monitoring,” says Christian Prigentt, director of HeliDax. “The HCare Classics contract secures our supply chain and replaces our acquisition of safety stocks, whose quantities are based on estimates only without taking into account future logistical supply chain risks. In this respect, and thanks to its service, which is paid per flight hour, this contract will contribute directly to our management of maintenance costs, until the end of our agreement with the French government.”
“HeliDax is a great example of the many customers who continue to operate legacy helicopters to perform essential missions, and we’re honoured to extend our relationship with them via this support contract. Through HCare Classics, Airbus Helicopters secures the supply chain and ensures sufficient provision of spare parts, as well as other support options specifically tailored to meet the needs of these unique operators,” says Christoph Zammert, Executive Vice President of Customer Support & Services at Airbus Helicopters. “One example of how we approach the supply chain is by parting out aircraft as a means to inject parts into the pool, thus adding an important lever for sustainable life-cycle management of our fleet.”
Today there are more than 2,000 legacy Airbus helicopters in service with approximately 750 operators around the world. These out-of-production aircraft include the H120, Dauphin, Puma and Gazelle and account for 15% of the flight hours generated by the entire Airbus Helicopters fleet. HCare Classics is a multi-service offering created to meet the customer’s operational needs. Customers choose the services they need, ranging from obsolescence monitoring and management to spare parts support and maintenance planning. HeliDax is based within the French Army Aviation’s school in Dax, France and is a full subsidiary of DCI Group.