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GDHF's H175 order includes 10 firm orders and 10 options. Airbus Photo

Airbus secures bumper order for 20 H175s from GDAT

By Oliver Johnson | April 25, 2024

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 55 seconds.

Chinese company GDAT has placed an order for 20 Airbus H175s, with the aircraft set to be available for lease through GDAT subsidiary GD Helicopter Finance (GDHF).

GDHF, a leasing company that was only publicly unveiled earlier this week, said the super medium aircraft will be marketed to customers in the energy, search-and-rescue, air medical, and parapublic sectors.

The aircraft join 50 H160s in the GDHF order book.

“This deal will further enhance GDHF’s ability to offer our customers near term availability of efficient, cost-effective, multi-mission helicopters of the very latest technology,” said Michael York, CEO of GDHF, in a press release announcing the order. “GDHF will build a strong relationship with Airbus to deliver high value solutions for our customers.”

The announcement was made during the first day of the HeliOffshore Annual Conference and AGM in Vienna, Austria. Earlier this year, Airbus reported surging interest in the H175, fueled by the return of the offshore oil-and-gas market — as well as the difficulty some operators are having in supporting their Sikorsky S-92s, which had become the dominant large-capacity helicopter servicing the sector over the last decade.

Airbus took orders for 14 H175s last year, but earlier this year reported framework agreements with several operators that cover more than 50 aircraft. The manufacturer is targeting a fourfold increase in production output by 2026 to meet market demand for the type.

There are 56 H175s in service around the world today, and almost three quarters of those are working offshore. While the oil-and-gas market rebound is clearly good news for the type, Airbus is keen to reduce its reliance on the sector. The multi-mission capability of the aircraft was highlighted in the GDAT order announcement.

“The creation of GDHF and this follow-on GDAT contract underlines the versatility and competitiveness of the H175 and the H160,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “We look forward to a long-standing partnership with GDHF as they put these multi-mission helicopters into service with their customers around the globe.”

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