AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce it has signed a further multiyear contract with Lease Corporation International (LCI) for seven AW139 intermediate and one AW189 8-tonne medium class twin engine helicopter. These helicopters, which will be used by LCI’s helicopter division to offer its customers modern aircraft ready for offshore transport, search and rescue, aero-medical transport and other missions, will be delivered between 2014 and 2017. The contract is valued at approximately €85 million (US$115 million). The agreement also includes further options for seven AW139s and three AW189s with deliveries scheduled between 2015 and 2018.
This contract further increases the number of firm orders placed by LCI in the last couple of years for the whole AgustaWestland Family of new generation helicopters, which also includes the new twin-engine AW169. Five AW139s from previous orders have been delivered to LCI so far, all of them during 2013.
Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said “We are very pleased to sign this latest contract with LCI which has become one of the leading helicopter leasing companies since establishing a helicopter division only two years ago. LCI’s order for more AW139 and AW189 helicopters highlights both their and the markets recognition that AgustaWestland products offer the best combination of performance and operating costs, whilst providing the very latest safety features.”
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, commented: “We have great pleasure in strengthening further this partnership with AgustaWestland. Their helicopters are particularly well suited to the market and are proving to be very popular with our lessees for a variety of roles. In particular we are excited about the new super-medium category of helicopters and our endorsement of the AW189 with the follow-on order underscoring our intention to be a major player in this space.”
LCI and its customers 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 concept that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets of more than one type.
The AW139 is the market leader in the medium twin helicopter market with over 750 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 the first deliveries to operators will commence in the comings weeks.
Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a value of around US$5 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. LCI is also a launch customer for the Bombardier CSeries having placed an order for 20 aircraft valued at approximately US$1.4 billion, with options for a further 20 aircraft. The helicopter leasing division was established in 2012 with a US$400m order for AgustaWestland helicopters. More recently KKR Financial Holdings agreed to invest more than $100 million in Lease Corporation International’s helicopter unit to tap growing demand from the oil and gas sector.
Source: AgustaWestland, A Finmeccanica Company (Milan: FNC.MI)
Date: Feb 27, 2014