Following its initial launch in March earlier this year, the new HCare offer has made inroads on the company’s quest to simplify support & services packages and tailor them to each individual customer’s needs. In the months that have followed, customers have shown that simple and flexible packages – that meet their unique operating environments – have been a recipe for success.


One single contract: A fresh take on helicopter support and services

The new HCare offer was conceived to better meet operators’ specific needs and relieve them of the costly administrative burdens involved in juggling multiple contracts for multiple services. With three main packages - HCare Initial, HCare In-Service and HCare Lifetime - customers can tailor the suite of services to their given needs, as well as choose the desired level of material management support. Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) aircraft and out-of-production legacy fleets (H120, Dauphin, Puma and Gazelle) also benefit from specialised sets of packages: HCare First and HCare Classics. Finally, the HCare Store provides a platform where operators can order one-off services covering Material Management, Helicopter Maintenance, Technical Support, Training & Flight Ops and Connected Services.

The HCare offer proves on the right track with customers

With the company’s customer-centric approach, feedback from helicopter operators on their experience with the new portfolio of services has shown that the new HCare offer has gained a lot of traction.

Several operators have contracted HCare Initial packages - the suite of services dedicated to customers who are just beginning operations with a new Airbus helicopter - ensuring a successful entry-into-service. The Italian operator Trento Firefighters, which recently ordered two new H145 helicopters, will be covered under the package in the form of a Part Availability contract, as well as Luxaviation Uzbekistan for a newly-ordered H125.

HCare In-Service, the second group of services that is dedicated to customers who are already operating an Airbus helicopter, has also excelled among customers. This suite of services is tailored to match each individual operator’s needs - optimising the fleet’s maintenance, use, and longevity. Ancala Partner’s fleet of roughly 50 helicopters, The Helicopter Company’s (THC) 20 five-bladed H145s and SAF Aerogroup’s fleet of five Super Puma helicopters have all signed on. A handful of customers are also taking advantage of the different performance commitment levels - contracting with Airbus to ensure their aircraft are ready to fly when they’re needed most. Several operators, including Dare County and a Private Business and Aviation launch customer have signed on for Part Availability contracts, the exchange and replacement service for helicopter components that helps operators better predict and streamline their maintenance expenses.

And finally with HCare Classics, Helidax’s fleet of 36 H120s has recently signed on for this package, securing their supply chain and helping to manage maintenance costs - allowing them to focus on carrying out their essential missions.

Safety and performance improvement: retrofits and upgrades lead the way

Retrofitting and upgrading aircraft ensures not only that the performance of the helicopter is optimal, but that it’s the safest as well. As helicopters are called on for a boundless range of missions, the operating environments and specific performance needs of the helicopters are equally as varied. Many operators turn to retrofits and upgrades to modernise aircraft and provide them with mission-specific equipment and capabilities. From cold weather kits, to crash-resistant fuel systems and sling retrofits, each updated helicopter is given a new lease on life.

SAF Aerogroup recently ordered crash-resistant fuel systems (CRFS) kits to retrofit 15 of its Ecureuil helicopters, taking advantage of attractive incentives while boosting safety. The kits can be installed at the operator’s facility with just a minimum amount of downtime. 

Finally, in an effort to help a greater number of out-of-production helicopter operators improve the safety and performance of their aircraft, Airbus has spearheaded an innovative new shared-financing approach for the development of upgrades, and offers attractive incentives to operators who sign up. Swiss Helicopter recently agreed to upgrade the avionics systems of its H120s, equipping them with modern, high-performing, digitally-connected systems - the same avionics systems that are included on all new H125 aircraft. In signing this agreement, Swiss Helicopter was also the first of our civil-operations customers to take advantage of this improvement offer and the collaborative approach to developing and certifying this avionics upgrade for the H120.