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Milestone Aviation Group, a GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) company and a global leader in helicopter leasing, announced on Jan. 22 the delivery and lease of eight AW139 helicopters to Shanghai Kingwing Aviation Co. Ltd.
The medium twin-engine helicopters will join Kingwing’s existing fleet of 32 helicopters providing emergency medical services (EMS) in China and will facilitate expanded services to 22 provinces nationwide.
Established in 2006, Kingwing is the largest EMS helicopter operator in China, not only providing EMS services, but also aircraft hosting, consignment stock, crew training and helicopter maintenance services. The company is well-placed to achieve continued growth in China’s developing helicopter industry as the country relaxes airspace restrictions and promotes expansion of EMS services.
Milestone leased its first helicopter in China in 2014, and GECAS has been active in China since 1988. In 2017, the companies collaborated in establishment of a leasing platform in the Tianjin Free Trade Zone. Milestone’s depth of knowledge and experience in this area will allow it to better serve helicopter operators based in China.
“We are delighted to partner with Kingwing on the largest helicopter lease placement ever in China,” said Milestone president and chief executive officer, Daniel Rosenthal. “We have long believed China was prime for growth in civil helicopters and look forward to supporting capable operators such as Kingwing as they provide critical life-saving helicopter services across China.”
“We are grateful to Milestone for their support in this very large and complex transaction,” said Kingwing’s president Zou Jianming. “China is a complex and fast-moving business environment. Milestone and General Electric, with significant resources in country, are preferred partners to deliver on a transaction of this size and scope. I look forward to working with the Milestone team as a close partner in the years to come.”