EUROPEAN helicopter manufacturer Airbus is targeting to increase its market share in the Philippines to 60 percent in the next three years from 50 percent currently as it plans to offer its choppers to the military sector.
“The Philippines is very important to us,” Fabrice Rochereau, Airbus Helicopters’ vice president and head of sales for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said during a media conference held in Pasay City on Wednesday.
“Our target is the Philippine Air Force,” Rochereau said.
According to Lionel de Maupeou, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Philippines, there are ongoing talks between Airbus and the Philippine government regarding the latter’s interest to buy additional helicopters.
“There’s a lot of potential in the Philippines given the geography, given the interest,” de Maupeou said.
“One of the projects that we may push is the H145M,” de Maupeou added. He said the H145M light helicopter is the ideal helicopter platform to meet the requirements of the Philippine Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.
He added that the H145M has been chosen by the German Special Forces, Thai Navy, Serbian Army and US Police.
Yves Poesy, senior governmental sales manager for Airbus Global Business, said that helicopters are easier to market in the Philippines as the country has open skies compared with other countries.
Manpower is also easily available in the Philippines to man and maintain helicopters, Poesy said.
“It’s easy to find good mechanists, find good pilots, compared with other countries wherein it is more difficult,” according to Poesy.
Currently, there are 70 Airbus helicopters flying in the country, a majority owned by civilians. The company said six new Airbus helicopters are also due for delivery here before the end of 2017.