EUROCOPTER, the French company which manufacturers the troubled Super Puma helicopter, is to change its corporate identity to Airbus Helicopters.
The helicopter crash last August off Shetland in which one woman and three men were killed was the fifth incident in four years involving a Super Puma helicopter, manufactured by Eurocopter.
The chopper, which crashed off Sumburgh Head, was an AS332L2, the same model of aircraft which plunged into the North Sea off Peterhead in April 2009 with the loss of 16 lives. The 2009 disaster is currently the focus of a fatal accident inquiry at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.
Eurocopter also manufactured the EC135 which crashed into the Clutha pub in Glasgow last November, with the loss of ten lives.
The French company has now announced in a statement for its headquarters at Marignane in France that it is to be rebranded as Airbus Helicopters to bring the company into line with its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, which changed its name to Airbus last week.
A company spokesman said: The rebranding of Eurocopter as Airbus Helicopters, effective today, marks a new era in the history of the company, which joins Airbus and Airbus Defence and Space within the new Airbus Group – the global leader in aerospace, defence and related services.
“Airbus Helicopters will benefit from and enrich the Airbus brand as it develops, manufactures, markets and supports a diversified and highly capable rotorcraft product line.”
Guillaume Faury, the President of Airbus Helicopters, said: “This rebranding works hand in hand with our ongoing transformation, which is now bolstered by the Airbus brand’s strong foundation in innovation, quality and industrial excellence. Both of these together will serve our ambition of setting the industry standard in terms of safety, mission capability and performance for our operators around the world.”
The Airbus Group employs approximately 22,000 people worldwide. Airbus Helicopters is the world’s leading helicopter manufacturer with an estimated 12,000 helicopters operated by more than 3,000 customers in service in 150 countries.
A company spokesman said: “The company’s chief priority is to ensure the safe operation of its aircraft for the thousands of people who together fly more than three million hours per year.”