Airbus Helicopters marks 60 years in Japan

An Alouette II, one of the first helicopters delivered to Japan by Airbus Helicopters' forerunner. (PHOTO: Airbus Helicopters)

Airbus Helicopters marks 60 years of long-standing partnership with Japan this year. Since its predecessor Sud Aviation entered into an exclusive distributorship agreement with Nozaki & Co in Japan in 1960, followed by the company’s first helicopter delivery – an Alouette II – in 1961, there are over 370 Airbus helicopters flying in the country today for a variety of missions across business segments.

The Kobe factory of Airbus Helicopters. (PHOTO: Airbus Helicopters)

“We are indeed very happy to celebrate this milestone today with the partners and customers who have journeyed with us. As a company, we have navigated through many challenges, starting as a distributor and subsequently adding maintenance and training capabilities over the years. Today, Airbus Helicopters Japan has established itself in the country, offering a comprehensive range of helicopter solutions for customers in Japan,” said Stephane Ginoux, head of North Asia at Airbus.

An Airbus H225 helicopter recently ordered by Japan’s National Police Agency. (PHOTO: Airbus Helicopters)

“We thank our customers and partners who have shown their continued confidence and trust. This achievement demonstrates the reliability of our products and services, and confirms the strong relationship between Japan and Airbus. We stay committed to further our cooperative ties with the Japanese industries and continue to render our best support for customers’ success and safe operations,” added Guillaume Leprince, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Japan.

Airbus Helicopters’ new hanger in Kobe. (PHOTO: Airbus Helicopters)

Today Airbus Helicopters has a team of 330 personnel based in Tokyo and Kobe, offering a suite of helicopter products. Aircraft completion, maintenance, engineering, technical support and training are provided at the company’s Centre of Excellence in Kobe, as with aircraft and spare parts sales. In January 2020, Airbus Helicopters extended its footprint with a new hangar in Kobe, adding overall capacity by 60 percent, to handle 40 medium-sized helicopters all at the same time. This translates to over 80 helicopters per year for MRO projects.

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