Skip to main content
Press Release

GECAS' Milestone Aviation Group to Acquire 28 H175 Airbus Helicopters

June 15, 2015
  • Represents largest customer commitment for Airbus’ new super-medium-lift rotorcraft
  • Agreement marks new step in Airbus Helicopters-Milestone Aviation Group relationship 

Le Bourget, France, 15 June, 2015 - Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services company and the global leader in helicopter leasing, and Airbus Helicopters, a division of Airbus Group, announced today that Milestone has increased its combined orders and options to a total of 28 H175s, the largest order for Airbus’ new super-medium-lift twin-engine rotorcraft.

“We have full confidence in the Airbus Helicopters’ leadership team and are delighted to expand our relationship with the introduction of the H175 to our fleet,” said Richard Santulli, Milestone’s Chairman. “The H175 is well-aligned with our commitment to offering the most innovative product solutions for our customers.”

“Today’s H175 order is illustrative of the Milestone team’s sharp focus on long-term industry growth,” said Daniel Rosenthal, Milestone’s President. “We have been impressed by the H175’s successful introduction into service and felt it was the appropriate time to further our commitment to the aircraft.”  

Airbus Helicopters’ H175 was designed to meet the most demanding oil and gas industry transportation requirements, offering new levels of comfort with the largest cabin in its class, as well as low in-flight vibration and noise levels. The rotorcraft provides highly cost-efficient service, with a capacity of up to 18 passengers, low fuel consumption and the range to reach a large percentage of the world’s offshore installations.

“This latest agreement builds on our outstanding relationship with Milestone, who owns one of the most valuable Airbus civilian helicopter fleets in operation and on order in the world,” said Guillaume Faury, the President & CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “It also reinforces the H175 as an aircraft of choice in the super-medium category.”

The H175 entered service last December and is demonstrating high availability in more than 900 flight hours performed by customers to date, while also confirming the rotorcraft’s designed-in maintainability - which is backed by Airbus Helicopters’ support and services. It is certified to the latest airworthiness standards, covering both the helicopter and the new Helionix®  avionics  suite  -  providing  increased  safety  through  reduced  pilot  workload, enhanced situational awareness, improved flight envelope protection and system redundancy.

Contributing to the H175’s competitive edge is its recommended cruise speed of 150 kts., while the maximum cruise speed exceeds 165 kts. - all achieved at extremely low vibration levels.

Excellent power performance for the H175 includes hover out of ground effect (HOGE) with a maximum 7.5-metric-ton take-off weight at 5,800 ft. at ISA+20°C conditions; one engine inoperative (OEI) hover performance, which ensures safety during hoisting for search and rescue missions; and extensive power reserve ensuring heli-deck performance (PC1) at maximum take-off weight in ISA+20°C conditions.

The helicopter’s radius-of-action in an oil and gas mission configuration enables 16 passengers to be transported to offshore rigs at distances of 140 nautical miles (NM.) on crew change flights, extending to nearly 200 NM. when 12 passengers are carried. Further certification of the H175 at an increased maximum take-off weight of 7,800 kg. will offer operators the ability to further expand the radius-of-action by 40 NM., or to carry 300 kg. of additional payload.

The H175 is a perfect complement to Airbus Helicopters’ heavy-lift H225 (formerly known as the EC225), which is deployed worldwide by oil and gas airlift service providers. As a tandem offered only by Airbus Helicopters, the H175 and H225 are able to support the oil and gas sector’s development in terms of both range and payload.

About Milestone Aviation Group

Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services Company, is the world’s leading commercial helicopter leasing company. Milestone has a fleet of 187 helicopters worth US $3.2 billion and supports 33 operators in 26 countries on six continents. The company has a forward order book of 117 firm and option aircraft with an estimated aggregate purchase price of US $2.4 billion. These near-term delivery positions of in-demand helicopters are made available for lease globally. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide and supports them through lease financing. The company provides financing for helicopters serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining and other utility missions.

About GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS)

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) is a world leader in aviation leasing and financing.  With over 45 years of experience, GECAS offers a wide range of aircraft types including narrowbodies, widebodies, regional jets/props, freighters and helicopters, plus multiple financing products and services including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, capital markets, engine leasing, airframe parts management and airport/airline consulting.  GECAS owns or services a fleet of over 2,200 aircraft (1,900 fixed wing/300 rotary wing) in operation or on order, plus provides loans collateralized on an additional 400 aircraft. GECAS serves over 270 customers in over 75 countries from a network of 24 offices.

GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don’t, builds things others can’t and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world.

About Airbus Helicopters (

Airbus Helicopters is a division of Airbus Group. The company provides the most efficient civil and military helicopter solutions to its customers who serve, protect, save lives and safely carry passengers in highly demanding environments. Flying more than 3 million flight hours per year, the company’s in-service fleet includes some 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in 152 countries. Airbus Helicopters employs more than 23,000 people worldwide and in 2014 generated revenues of 6.5 billion Euros. In line with the company’s new identity, fully integrated into Airbus Group, Airbus Helicopters has renamed its product range replacing the former “EC” designation with an “H”.


Dan Whitney
GE Capital Aviation Services
[email protected]

business unit