AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of global conglomerate the Libra Group, have signed an agreement covering the purchase of a fleet of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters. The related contract, which also includes options, is valued in excess of €300 million. Building on its successful growth in the narrow and wide-body fixed-wing leasing market, LCI’s new helicopter division plans to offer helicopter operators an attractive alternative to buying and financing the purchase of the helicopters. LCI expects to be active in a number of markets including offshore, Search and Rescue and aero-medical transport.
Emilio Dalmasso, Senior VP Commercial Business, AgustaWestland, said after the signing: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with LCI for AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters which adds a brand new kind of customer to our list of clients. LCI’s decision to enter the helicopter business by investing in the latest generation of rotorcraft technology highlights its confidence in the opportunities offered by the commercial helicopter market in years to come.”
He added “LCI maintains one of the world’s most modern fleets of commercial aircraft and the AgustaWestland range of high performance helicopters fits well with LCI’s successful market strategy to offer its clients the latest in efficient and productive aircraft.”
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman, LCI, added: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of careful analysis and observation of this sector. As a dynamic lessor we are confident that now is the time to make this move given the high level of unfulfilled demand for new generation helicopters, which the innovative, market-leading AgustaWestland helicopters are well placed to meet.”
LCI will benefit from the commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family of new generation helicopters. As well as possessing the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features the helicopters share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concepts that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets from 4 to 8.5 tonnes.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Feb 13, 2012