Fleet expansion in paradise: Corail Hélicoptères orders two Eurocopter EC130 B4 helicopters for Réunion island tourism and air taxi flights
Factors in Corail Hélicoptères' selection of the EC130 B4 include its low operational sound levels, which is within the regulations for flights at America's Grand Canyon National Park - an important factor for tour operators, excellent visibility for pilots and passengers, and enhanced safety in ground operations with the shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.
Both of these newly-ordered helicopters will be delivered to Réunion island in the second half of 2012, joining Corail Hélicoptères' current Eurocopter fleet - which is composed of four AS350s and AS355s from the Ecureuil family.
"The EC130 B4 is perfectly adapted to our flight operations, and it represents a key element of our fleet modernization," said Alfred Chane Pane, the Chairman of Corail Hélicoptères.
Since its creation in 2003 with a Eurocopter AS355N, Corail Hélicoptères has built up its business of providing tourism and air taxi services for Réunion island - a French overseas department - along with support work that includes firefighting and evacuation airlift during flooding conditions. The company carried more than 22,000 passengers in 2011, and its future development includes the possibility of offering regular helicopter service from Réunion to the island of Mauritius.
"We look forward to extending our successful relationship with Corail Hélicoptères as it introduces the EC130 B4 later this year," said Olivier Michalon Vice President Europe and Central Asia. "Eurocopter stands ready to provide full support for the company's follow-on operational needs."
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace and defense-related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approximately 20,000 people. In 2011, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world's number one helicopter manufacturer with a turnover of 5.4 billion Euros, orders for 457 new helicopters and a 43 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group's helicopters account for 33 percent of the worldwide civil and parapublic fleet. Eurocopter's strong international presence is ensured by its subsidiaries and participations in 21 countries. Eurocopter's worldwide network of service centers, training facilities, distributors and certified agents supports some 2,900 customers. There are currently more than 11,300 Eurocopter helicopters in service in 149 countries. Eurocopter offers the most comprehensive civil and military helicopter range in the world and is fully committed to safety as the most important aspect of its business.