200,000 Flight Hours

The fleet of EC130s in service world-wide reached the 200,000 flight hour mark last September. Yet another milestone that confirms its position as the reference in single-engine helicopters for passenger transport.

Today, 112 customers based mainly in the United States – but also flying on all five continents – are operating approximately 200 EC130s. The helicopter, which first came on the market in 2001, owes its success mainly to its spacious cabin that can transport 7 or 8 people in optimal comfort.
The EC130 is now the worldwide reference for charter flights, island hopping, guided tourist flights, corporate flights and VIP transport. In the United States, it also performs EMS(1) and law enforcement missions.
The main selling points of the EC130 that helped it conquer the passenger transport market are low noise levels, large visibility for passengers, high levels of security thanks to features such as the Fenestron®, optimized pilot workload, easy maintenance, low operating costs, and a large number of spare parts shared with the AS350 B3 Ecureuil.

Stunning Success in New Zealand
The use of the EC130 for passenger transport is perfectly illustrated in mountainous countries such as New Zealand, where road travel is extremely difficult. “Eleven EC130 B4s are currently in service in New Zealand,” said François Arnaud, Civil Aircraft Vice President at Australian Aerospace Ltd.
“That’s quite a fleet for a country with only 4 million inhabitants. The biggest operator in the country is the company Advanced Flight, which is run by Keith Stephens. They operate seven EC130s, which are all owned by private individuals who use the helicopters for their own personal travel.”

The Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace had to adapt its operations to handle this enormous success. To meet new maintenance needs, it has doubled the surface space of its installations in Auckland, the country’s economic capital, where seventeen people are employed.

Belén Morant

(1) Emergency Medical Service

©Peter Clark
The company Advanced Flight in New Zealand operates seven EC130s.


• Maverick Helicopter Inc. - USA (Grand Canyon): 15 (20 on order)
• Blue Hawaiian Helicopters – USA (Hawaï): 10
• Papillon Airways INC. – USA (Grand Canyon): 10
• Air Methods Corp. – USA: 9
• Advanced Flight – New Zealand: 7

©Neville Dawson
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, the EC130 launch customer, currently operates ten of the helicopters.