With plans to promote Kochi as the heli-hub for travel between cities in Kerala, Eurocopter has introduced the AS350 B3 Ecureuil and EC130 B4 helicopters in India.
The new helicopters are popular across the world for their technical capabilities as well as reliability and high performance levels.
Rohit Kumar, head, Eurocopter India, the Indian subsidiary, said 63 per cent of the turbine engine heli-tourism fleet in the world was Eurocopter helicopters.
In the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) segment, the company has 80 per cent market share worldwide. Globally, 15 to 20 per cent of the helicopters sold each year are HEMS helicopters; and Eurocopter helicopters are the only ones that have been designed for HEMS, and come with a large cabin, rear and side access for easier stretcher loading, protected tail rotor and the lowest noise signature. They are capable of flying at varied altitudes and under challenging conditions.
Both the new additions are highly adaptable for both missions, as they can be quickly reconfigured from passenger transport to HEMS. The AS350 B3 Ecureuil is currently flying tourists to places like Vaishno Devi, Kedarnath, Badrinath and Amarnath as well as for corporate transportation, and has become the backbone of IndiaÃ¢Â€Â™s geophysical surveys.
The EC130 B4 is the only helicopter designed for heli-tourism mission. Due to its open cabin architecture, it offers exceptional cabin visibility on both sides for an aerial view to its eight passengers in a stable, quiet and safe environment.
Eurocopter inaugurated its Indian subsidiary in October 2010. It currently has 23 civil and government customers operating its helicopter products in India, a press release said.