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Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, announced on July 2 its first helicopter lease in China with the placement of three new Leonardo AW139 aircraft with Shanghai Kingwing Aviation Co., each configured for emergency medical services (EMS) operations.
This latest announcement reinforces LCI’s long-held strategy of curating a balanced and diverse portfolio, with a majority of leases in the EMS market.
The three new AW139 aircraft will be delivered to Kingwing throughout the second half of 2018 and will be deployed on Kingwing’s rapidly expanding EMS network throughout China.
Helicopter-based EMS operations are experiencing rapid growth in China following recent easing of airspace restrictions, with Kingwing being the country’s largest provider and its third largest helicopter operator overall.
To meet this increasing demand, LCI has established a new company based in the Tianjin Free Trade Zone DFTP Area to enable it to provide the highest quality service to its Chinese customers and to spearhead the growth of its leasing business in China.
“China is a market with enormous growth potential in civil helicopter operations, and we are honored to partner Kingwing in the development of their innovative and entrepreneurial approach to the provision of EMS services in China,” said Michael Platt, chief executive officer of LCI.
“We are delighted to be working with LCI to introduce new AW139 helicopters with life-saving capabilities to our rapidly growing network,” said Zou Jianming, president of Kingwing. “LCI is already proving its ability to deliver quick execution and high efficiency using their extensive operational knowledge and structuring capabilities to support us in meeting our long-term objectives. This partnership will help both parties to reach a higher level in the Chinese market.”
LCI’s fleet, which comprises approximately US$750 million of assets in service and on order, is focused on the latest-technology medium and super medium helicopters from the leading helicopter manufacturers, including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.