Eurocopter signs a capabilities expansion agreement for the jointly-owned COHC General Aviation Maintenance & Engineering Co. in China

(PresseBox) (Zhuhai, China, ) A five-year development plan for the expansion of capabilities at COHC General Aviation Maintenance & Engineering Co., Ltd. (CGAMEC) in China has been signed by Eurocopter and the two other shareholders of this jointly-owned operation, Citic Offshore Helicopter Co. Ltd. (COHC) and Samwell Aviation.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) is to take effect in 2011, and will drive the expansion of CGAMEC's helicopter maintenance activities for the benefit of Eurocopter customers and operators in China. The accord was signed today at Airshow China 2010 in Zhuhai by Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter; COHC Chairman BI Wei; and Samwell Aviation President LI Jiangnan. These companies hold CGAMEC shareholdings of 34 percent, 51 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

Key areas of CGAMEC's future evolution will include enhanced capabilities for its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; the assembly and painting of helicopters from kits; along with the repair of rotor blades, avionics and mechanical components. This expanded competence will apply to all Eurocopter products, from the light single-engine EC120 to heavy twin-engine helicopters such as the Super Puma AS332 and EC225.

"The signature of this development plan consolidates Eurocopter's position as an all-around player in the Chinese aviation industry," said Eurocopter President & CEO Bertling. "It shows our determination to work closely with local partners and to involve ourselves in the customer support activities for our helicopters operating in China. This also builds on our company's 40-year presence in the country, which includes more than three decades of cooperation with Chinese industry - a relationship that is increasingly dynamic and beneficial for all participants."

The Shenzhen-based CGAMEC was created in 2001, and its current activity is focused on MRO services for helicopters and their components. With a staff of 45 employees today, CGAMEC has the status of a Eurocopter-approved maintenance centre. It is the only maintenance facility in China that is certified for helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul activities by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

"The further extension of CGAMEC's helicopter maintenance activities is proof of our technical know-how, and it will allow us to bring our technological expertise to international standards," added BI Wei of COHC.

Signature of this development plan follows Eurocopter's increase of its shareholding in CGAMEC from 21 per cent to a new level of 34 per cent last year.

About Eurocopter China (Website: www.eurocopter-china.com)

Created in December 2006, Eurocopter China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eurocopter Group, responsible for sales and customer support activities for the company's entire range of products. In 2009, Eurocopter China achieved a turnover of 24 million Euros and a market share of 41%. With over 40 years of presence and 30 years of experience in industrial cooperation in China, more than 150 Eurocopter helicopters have been sold in the country. In order to provide quality service in proximity to Chinese operators, Eurocopter China has established a multi-based organization in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong staffed with around 35 employees.
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