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Leonardo and Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, have announced an order for an additional nine helicopters. The order is valued at over US$120 million and covers the entire family of new generation helicopters — the Leonardo AW139, AW169 and AW189.
Deliveries will commence this year and continue into 2018.
LCI is already a major customer for Leonardo aircraft, and this latest order adds to its previous orders for the same types, which now total 49. The versatility and efficiency of the AW169, AW139 and AW189 aircraft are proving extremely popular with leading operators across the globe.
A record five AW169s and one AW139 are being delivered this month, and being deployed on search-and-rescue (SAR), maritime pilot transfers, emergency medical services, and training and utility missions. This clearly demonstrates the diversity and balance of LCI’s lease portfolio and its capacity to grow within all the sectors, including offshore oil-and-gas.
“Today’s [June 19] order marks just an interim stage in our continued long-term fleet development plan,” said Crispin Maunder, executive chairman of LCI. “We are seeing a resurgence of demand for modern, cost-effective helicopters across a range of different sectors, and this additional follow-on order underscores our confidence in the market and ensures that LCI has the right size and mix of helicopter fleet to fulfil our customers’ near term requirements. The record number of helicopters we have taken delivery of and placed on lease this month alone is a clear demonstration of the continuing strength and diversity of demand in the helicopter market and in particular that for Leonardo helicopters.”
Michael Platt, chief Executive officer of LCI added, “We are delighted to be expanding our longstanding partnership with Leonardo, who’s versatile and innovative aircraft are proving highly popular with the leading helicopter operators we work with across the globe. LCI’s fast-growing fleet is balanced across a diverse range of sectors which now includes HEMS [helicopter emergency medical services], wind energy, oil-and-gas, marine pilot transfer, search-and-rescue, mining and training.”
LCI’s growing fleet of helicopters are on lease to operators worldwide serving a wide range of sectors including EMS, SAR, offshore wind power, harbour pilots and training and utility, as well as a small proportion serving oil-and-gas production. LCI’s helicopter fleet is currently made up of approximately 60 helicopters in service and on order, including the market-leading Leonardo AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters.