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China orders 123 Airbus helicopters

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BEIJING, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Three Chinese general aviation operators on Monday signed deals with Airbus Helicopters to purchase 123 helicopters for general aviation purposes.

Airbus Helicopters said in a statement that contracts were signed with Fujian Xinmei General Aviation Co. (GAC), Guangdong Baiyun GAC and Yunnan Fengxiang GAC.

Fujian Xinmei bought 55 units, with five to be delivered this year and the remaining 50 over the next six years. Guangdong Baiyun placed an order for 50, while Yunnan Fengxiang purchased 18.

"The total fleet of 123 helicopters comprises mainly light single-engine helicopters from Airbus Helicopters' Ecureuil family, as well as the light twin-engine EC135," according to the statement. They will be used for utility work, aerial tours, passenger transport, business aviation, emergency medical services and search and rescue.

"We are grateful to the operators for selecting Airbus Helicopters to be their partner in developing the general aviation market to serve China's needs," said Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury.

It is evident that China's relaxation of its low-altitude airspace regulations is enabling the helicopter market to realize its potential, Faury said.

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