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Airbus Chooses Querétaro for Manufacturing Processes in Mexico



The Latin American helicopter market is significant for Airbus, with 390 units in the AHMSA region, covering Central America, the Caribbean, and the northern part of South America. Out of these, 42% (160 helicopters) are currently in operation in Mexico, as stated by Guillaume Leprince, General Manager of Airbus Helicopters Mexico (AHMSA).


In an exclusive interview with A21, Mr. Leprince emphasized the importance of Mexico as a key market for the French company. In recent years, helicopter sales in Mexico have focused on federal, state, and private governments.


Currently, there are 160 Airbus helicopters in Mexico, including the H225 used by the armed forces, with the only exception being the H160, as it's relatively new in the country. The federal government operates Airbus helicopters, including Panther and Super Pumas, while the Secretariat of the Navy and the Mexican Air Force use H225 helicopters. Airbus also provides logistics support to deliver parts for these aircraft.


Airbus serves Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) through subsidiaries using the H175 for offshore transportation to platforms. The private sector continues to renew its helicopters, with the versatile H145 being a popular choice. The H125, a single-engine helicopter known for its high altitude capabilities, is also frequently used by state governments.


In Central America, Airbus Corporate Helicopters, the VIP segment of Airbus helicopters, has seen substantial development. Governments like Honduras have made purchases of other helicopter models, showcasing a growing market in the region due to the petroleum sector's expansion.


Airbus Helicopters offers all its helicopter families in Latin America, including the H125, H130, H135 (twin-engine), H145, H160 (next generation), H165, and the larger civil H225 models.

Airbus has a significant production facility in Querétaro, where it continues to grow. Over the next two years, the plant will add 200 more employees to its existing workforce of 350. This expansion will involve new technology and machinery to enhance the quality of the final product, ensuring competitiveness in a global context.


Nearshoring, the relocation of production plants, presents an opportunity for Mexico. Offering favorable conditions for investment, such as access to energy and a skilled workforce, is essential for seizing these opportunities.


Airbus has a robust sustainability plan, with the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 63% before 2030. Clean energy initiatives, like those in Querétaro, are key to achieving this target and using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to decarbonize the industry.


While SAF production is still limited, with few countries producing it, there is a significant opportunity in Mexico to produce SAF, provided there is the will to do so. Airbus holds certifications to use SAF in its helicopters and aircraft, with the goal of reaching 100% SAF usage before 2050.


Brazil has made significant progress in the development of alternative fuels, particularly plant-based fuels like sugarcane and maize. Airbus supports these initiatives as a provider of aircraft, creating a context for their development.


In summary, Airbus's commitment to sustainability and growth in Mexico underscores the country's potential as a hub for aerospace innovation and production. Querétaro, with its expanding workforce and clean energy initiatives, plays a crucial role in achieving these objectives, contributing to a more sustainable and competitive aviation industry.


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