Marignane -  In 2023, Airbus Helicopters logged 410 gross orders (net: 393), highlighting a steady market recovery with a strong performance this year for the light twin and medium twin helicopters. Orders came from 179 customers in 47 countries. The Company delivered 346 helicopters in 2023, resulting in a preliminary 54% share of the civil and parapublic market. 

“Airbus Helicopters’ order intake in 2023, with an increase bordering 10 percent in units in  comparison to 2022, highlights its stable growth despite the ongoing global context of inflation and geopolitical instability,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “It’s also a testament to the versatility of our products on both the civil and military market and I’d like to thank our customers for continuing to entrust their critical missions to Airbus Helicopters,” he added.

2023 was a year of many firsts, with the first flight of the DisruptiveLab demonstrator featuring a new aerodynamic architecture aimed at reducing fuel consumption and the first flight of the NH90 Sea Tiger, the state-of-the-art anti-submarine warfare helicopter for the German Navy. The Company also welcomed a new member to the Airbus family when the Spanish Navy took delivery of their first H135 helicopters. 

“Defence and security is one of Airbus Helicopters’ strategic priorities  and we continue to innovate and develop to increase mission capabilities for our customers. The German armed forces signing the largest H145M contract with up to 82 light attack helicopters at the end of 2023 is testimony to that. On the development side, the H175M successfully performed flight demonstrations in the extreme hot and high conditions of the desert in Saudi Arabia while the VSR700 demonstrated its performance during sea trials from a French Navy multi-mission frigate. We also continue to expand our UAS portfolio with the acquisition of Aerovel which will allow us to offer our customers additional mission capabilities with manned-unmanned teaming,” continued Even.

Global support contracts and the HCare offering continued to prove popular in 2023 both with civil and military customers. 140 new helicopters were covered by “by-the-hour” contracts bringing the total to 2760 helicopters.  

Innovation and sustainability remained a strong focus for the Company as it continued to invest in demonstrators aimed at advancing its decarbonisation roadmap and enhancing aviation safety. Airbus Helicopters’ FlightLab successfully tested an electric flight control system that allowed for a single pilot stick to replace all three conventional pilot controls, a first in the helicopter industry. Following these successful FBW flight trials, Airbus Helicopters, in partnership with Airbus UpNext, was able to test advanced autonomous features in order to simplify mission preparation and management, reduce helicopter pilot workload, and further increase safety.

“In the same way as the DisruptiveLab will be used to test hybridisation for single-engine helicopters, we unveiled the PioneerLab with the aim of testing hybridisation for twin-engine aircraft as well as introducing bio-based materials. We also started assembling CityAirbus NextGen in Donauwörth and wrapped up the year by performing the power-on. We also ramped up the use of SAF for our own development test flights, training, deliveries and ferry flights in Marignane and Donauwörth to 10% and we will continue to roll this out to our other sites in 2024,” continued Even.

Airbus’ 2023 full year financial results will be disclosed on 15 February 2024.

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