Choppers, salesman pitch over capital

Choppers, salesman pitch over capital

In an effort to sell more helicopters in the Kingdom, Airbus Helicopter Southeast Asia showed off its H130 chopper yesterday, during a short demonstration flight in Phnom Penh.

The single-engine craft landed at the Sofitel at 4pm after it departed from Phnom Penh International Airport. AHSA vice president Lionel Sinai-Sinelnikoff said the firm’s target market in Cambodia includes tourism companies, passenger transport firms, and private aviation.

“There are around five civil helicopters in Cambodia right now that serve either commercial or private use,” he said, adding that all the five are AHSA-made.

Sinai-Sinelnikoff estimated Cambodia’s current demand at two to three helicopters per year.

According to AHSA, a Singapore-based subsidiary of aircraft giant Airbus, the H130 costs almost $3.5 million.

Keo Sivorn, director general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation of Cambodia, said Cambodia’s five civil choppers are used by three businesses: Union Development Group in Koh Kong and two transportation companies, Helicopter Cambodia and Helistar Cambodia.

Sivorn said Cambodian law did not allow the private use of helicopters yet but that the demo flight meant ASHA saw opportunity in Cambodia.

“They are interested in our market and it shows that we are reaching a good level of economic development.”

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