Finmeccanica-AgustaWestland announced today that it has signed a contract with Lease Corporation International (LCI) for eleven helicopters valued at approximately €110 million (US$125 million). The contract includes a mix of AW169 light-intermediate, AW139 intermediate and AW189 super-medium twin engine helicopters that make up the AgustaWestland Family of helicopters spanning the 4 to 8 tonne helicopter categories. The helicopters will be supplied by LCI’s helicopter division to its clients in 2015 and 2016 to perform a range of missions including offshore transport, search and rescue and aero-medical transport.
This contract further increases the number of firm orders placed by LCI for the whole AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters with a number of AW139 and AW189 helicopters from previous orders already delivered and deployed in various settings.
LCI and its customers will benefit from the commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 Family of new generation helicopters. These helicopters all possess the same high-performance flight characteristics and safety features whilst sharing the same common cockpit concept and design philosophy. This approach facilitates synergies for operators of these models in areas such as training, flight operations, maintenance and support.
The new generation AW169 light intermediate 4.5-tonne class helicopter has now entered full scale production with EASA civil certification expected soon. The only new helicopter in its class in more than 30 years, the AW169 brings new levels of technology and safety to the market. Over 120 AW169 helicopters have been ordered by customers around the world to date, including framework contracts and options, for a wide range of applications including executive and private transport, air ambulance, law enforcement, offshore transport and utility roles.
The AW139 is the market leader in the medium twin helicopter market with over 800 sold in more than 60 countries to over 200 customers for many roles including VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, fire-fighting, offshore transport, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief and maritime security.
The AW189 was designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter. The new 8-tonne class, twin engine helicopter is optimized for long range missions and and has already received orders for 130 helicopters, including options and framework contracts, making it the outright market leader in its class. The AW189 received EASA certification on 7th February 2014 and is now in production at AgustaWestland’s Vergiate and Yeovil facilities with 13 helicopters already delivered to leading offshore helicopter operators.
LCI (www.lciaviation.com) is owned by Libra Group (www.libra.com), an international business group with 30 subsidiaries operating across five continents. Libra Group’s subsidiaries are primarily focused on aviation, shipping, hospitality, energy and real estate.
Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a value of around US$6 billion. Today the company has a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft on lease to some of the world’s leading airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Air France and Asiana. The helicopter leasing division was established in 2012 with a US$400m order for AgustaWestland helicopters. In January 2014 KKR Financial Holdings, LLC, agreed to invest more than $100 million in Lease Corporation International’s helicopter unit to tap growing demand from the oil and gas sector, and in October of that year the lessor successfully close a five-year, US $325m asset-backed credit facility.