Airbus signs helo, air mobility deal for Saudi Arabia; STAT MedEvac orders 10 new H135 helicopters

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H135 helicopters
(IMAGE: Airbus)

facc another image twoAirbus and The Helicopter Company (THC) have signed an agreement to continue expanding helicopter activities as well as to introduce urban air mobility to Saudi Arabia. This comes as an additional step toward the co-creation of an Urban Air Mobility ecosystem in the kingdom. THC already operates 10 H125s, recently added 20 five-bladed H145s (with an option for an additional ten aircraft) and has six ACH160 helicopters (with an option for an additional four).

The agreement foresees the decarbonisation of flight operations for Airbus’ products in THC’s fleet. This includes the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) for conventional helicopters, as well as the introduction of urban air mobility (UAM) services in the country. The agreed cooperation between the parties and the aviation regulatory authorities of the kingdom will enable the safe application of these solutions to a variety of mission segments, such as emergency medical services, eco-tourism or private and business aviation.

Captain Arnaud Martinez, CEO of THC, said: “This is a significant move toward the introduction and efficient operations of cleaner helicopters and advanced technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are pleased to be a part of this unique opportunity to contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in the urban transportation market together with Airbus.”

The Helicopter Company, established by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the first and only helicopter services provider licensed to operate commercial flights in Saudi Arabia.

STAT MedEvac orders 10 new Airbus H135 helicopters

Via Airbus
(PHOTO: Via Airbus)

STAT MedEvac, an Airbus customer for nearly 40 years, has committed to ordering 10 new H135 helicopters as part of a fleet renewal initiative for its air medical operations. STAT’s total Airbus fleet, a mix of H135 and H145 family aircraft, operates out of 18 bases.

“We’ve been flying Airbus products since we began our operations, and couldn’t imagine it any other way,” said Jim Houser, CEO of STAT Medevac.  “Going back to the first North American EC135, we’ve been a key operator of the H135 throughout its upgrades and evolutions, and the H135 has continuously met our mission requirements, helping us provide high-quality care in the safest and most efficient way possible. We look forward to renewing our fleet with these 10 new aircraft and we thank Airbus for being such a supportive and fantastic partner all these years.”

STAT MedEvac has flown Airbus helicopters since commencing operations in 1985 and has a longstanding history with the H135 family – it was the first air ambulance program in North America to operate the EC135 in 1997, the first single-pilot IFR program with an EC135 in U.S. Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), the launch customer of the latest H135 variant in North America and the launch customer of the Helionix-equipped version in 2019.  The Pennsylvania-based critical care transport provider is the clinical arm for the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania, and is also the largest single branded, non-profit medical transport system in the Eastern United States.

“STAT MedEvac has become a key part of the H135’s success in the air medical market, and Airbus is extremely proud to support the life-saving missions they carry out every single day,” said Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters, Inc. and Head of the North American region. “With the latest evolution of this proven platform, Airbus aims to continue to meet our EMS customers’ evolving needs to use their helicopters as flying hospitals, and to be able to do so with the latest technologies that reduce pilot workload and increase safety all around. Thank you to the entire team at STAT for your trust in Airbus, and for the incredible work that you do.”

The H135 is the market leader in emergency medical services (EMS) worldwide and can be fitted with a wide range of EMS configurations, providing direct access and ample room for patient care. With the lowest operating and maintenance costs of any twin-engine, the proven H135 family of aircraft include Airbus’ Helionix avionics suite and has recently received an alternate gross weight increase for an additional 265lbs of useful load.

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