“If the sales volume of 2020 continues, this will already be a good result.”

Airbus certified the first distributor of its own helicopters in Russia on May 20. The director of the helicopter division of Airbus in Russia and Belarus told Kommersant about why a distribution center is needed and plans for sales in 2021 Dmitry Perepelkin.

– Even before the pandemic, dealers talked about a 30-40% decrease in demand in the Russian helicopter market compared to five years ago. How has the situation changed in this segment in 2020?

– In terms of sales, 2020 turned out to be very successful, a record number of new helicopters were bought in five to seven years. In Russia, we purchased 19 helicopters manufactured by Airbus – now we continue to supply equipment purchased by our customers last year. A year earlier, in 2019, there were fewer than ten deals, roughly the same figures were held in the past five years, so we see a significant increase in interest from buyers.

– Who are your new customers and on what customers does Airbus in Russia rely today?

– New clients are mainly owners of companies that purchase helicopters for their own transport needs. Among them are gold mining companies and the agricultural sector.

– What model is most in demand on the Russian market?

– These are single-engine helicopters H125 and H130. Now we have approved a distributor for the sale of Airbus, the company is called Gorka. They have a mandate to sell the most popular H125 and H130 made in France, as well as the larger twin-engine H135 and H145 made in Germany.

– What tasks does Airbus set for the first distribution center and how will it differ from the conditions of other Airbus suppliers in Russia?

– For our customers, the emergence of a new distributor is an opportunity to receive the entire range of helicopter services in one window. That is, they will sell the helicopter, they will deliver it and are ready to service and operate it. We see this as an increase in convenience for customers, especially for private customers who have no experience in operating helicopters. We expect that the existence of a distribution center will increase interest in our technology.

– How much do you expect to increase the volume of supplies in 2021?

– By and large, if the sales volume set last year is maintained, this will already be a good result for us. Now the development of the twin-engine direction is a priority for us, because in the segment of single-engine helicopters Airbus is already a recognized leader in Russia. And the interest in larger equipment has appeared only now, and we hope that demand will increase. Also very interesting is the H160 helicopter – this is the latest model, which has embodied all the most modern design achievements. We already see interest in it from customers.

Interviewed by Aigul Abdullina