LCI commits to approaching US$1b of new helicopter orders

27 February 2014

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, has this week unveiled commitments for up to 39 new helicopters worth around US$925 million and with further 2014 pipeline orders up to a total value approaching US$1 billion.

The lessor’s helicopter division has signed a contract with Airbus Helicopters for up to 21 new helicopters, with a commitment for the next-generation EC175 and as a launch customer for the newly-unveiled EC225e. The contract is worth around US$645 million, with aircraft delivery scheduled to commence in 2016.

LCI has also increased its AgustaWestland order book, with an order for a further 18 new helicopters worth over US$280 million. The contract, which was signed in Europe last week, comprises commitments for up to 14 AW139 intermediate helicopters and up to 4 AW189 twin-engine helicopters.

The orders, which were announced at this week’s 2014 HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, mark the latest stage in LCI’s growth as a leading helicopter lessor. LCI’s helicopter division was launched at the 2012 HAI Heli-Expo with a US$400m order for AgustaWestland helicopters, with the first five aircraft delivered in 2013, and an increased delivery flow from this year and onwards.

Earlier this year, KKR Financial Holdings agreed to invest more than $100 million in LCI’s helicopter division to tap growing oil and gas sector demand. Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a combined value of approaching US$6 billion.

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, commented: “Demand for helicopter leasing is going from strength to strength as operators realise the value and access to the latest technology that leasing unlocks. These new orders will help us meet that ever-growing demand, and we have plans for further order in the near future.”

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