AgustaWestland sees 2011 orders down from record


AgustaWestland, Finmeccanica’s helicopter unit, expects orders to fall to 4 billion euros (US$5.7 billion) this year from a record 2010, the Italian-British group’s chief executive said yesterday.

The order book will show a prevalence of commercial orders over military orders this year, unlike 2010 which was an “exceptional year” for AgustaWestland, Chief Executive Bruno Spagnolini told a news conference at the Paris Air Show.

Total orders peaked at 5.89 billion euros in 2010, from 3.2 billion euros the year before, Spagnolini said.

Spagnolini said AgustaWestland had taken full control of the American company making the AW609 tiltrotor — a plane with vertical lift capability — which had been previously 60-percent owned by Bell Helicopter .

The company, which has already around 70 orders, will remain based in Arlington, Texas, Spagnolini said.