Less than a year from its launch, Airbus's Corporate Helicopters brand is living up to the company's expectations. Despite 2017 being "a little bit depressed overall for business aviation in terms of volume of sales," the first year has been "a great success," says Frederic Lemos, ACH's global head.

Lemos says ACH made 58 sales during 2017, and that further sales have been made in 2018, including five orders for ACH versions of the forthcoming H160.

"The 160 is a real game-changer," he says. "There's a lot of enthusiasm for the VIP version because of the size of the helicopter, and also because of the comfort. We've been giving the opportunity to some pilots and clients to fly the helicopter already."

Four of the five H160 orders are from customers in the U.S. Eighteen months ago Airbus signed up CMIG Leasing, a China Minsheng Investment Group company, as the launch customer for the H160 in China, to be used as an executive transport.

While the U.S. and Europe remain ACH's biggest markets, Asia "is proving to be the great potential market we all expected," he says. "Of course, it's not at the level of Europe or the U.S., but it's a very promising market."

Airbus is showing a twin-engine H145 here at the show.