– Industry recognition for LCI and SMFL’s innovative framework which taps into US$1.6 trillion sustainable finance market –

1st February, 2024: LCI, a leading aviation company, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company Limited (SMFL), have received the prestigious Airline Economics ‘Editor’s Deal of the Year for Innovation Award’ for their pioneering Social Loan Framework.

The award was received by LCI and SMFL at the 2024 Aviation 100 Awards, as part of the Airline Economics’ Annual Conference in Dublin.

It recognises the Social Loan Framework agreement, that was launched by LCI and SMFL in 2023, as a vital financial innovation that is bringing the first ever social loans to the helicopter leasing sector.

The Framework, which established in accordance with the internationally agreed Social Loan Principles developed in 2023 by the Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA)(1), and holds the highest rating of “Social 1(F)” from the Japan Credit Rating Agency.

It requires funds to be used for eligible and verified Social Projects, which in LCI’s case will include search and rescue and emergency medical services.

Alan O’Rourke, CFO of LCI, said: “We are honoured to have received this prestigious award, and are delighted that the innovation and social impact we are bringing to the helicopter market is being recognised. This will help grow the use of sustainable finance in this very dynamic sector, and we look forward to driving forward the use of social loans with our partners across the banking sector.”

The Framework is an integral part of LCI’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) programme, and reflects SMFL’s long term commitment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as part of the company policy ‘The SMFL Way’.

LCI is also a signatory of Aircraft Leasing Ireland’s (ALI) Sustainability Charter, with a commitment to driving forward and achieving ESG related goals, centred around 10 priority sustainability principles, including a commitment to achieving net zero by 2050.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors:

(1) Social Loan Principles (SLP), Loan Syndications and Trading Association

About LCI:

LCI is a leading aviation company that is uniquely positioned across the commercial fixed-wing, helicopter and advanced air mobility sectors. Since its inception in 2004, LCI has undertaken approximately US$10 billion of aviation transactions and provides leasing services to operators, Governments and end-users.

LCI is owned by Libra Group (, a privately-owned international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in nearly 60 countries and who also own Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) ( For more information, visit

For more information, please contact: 

Charlie Hampton / Simon Wheale


Tel: +44 (0)7884 187297 



– New, independent division will focus on mission critical rotorcraft and advanced air mobility operations across sectors including energy, EMS and SAR –

24 January, 2024:  LCI, a leading aviation company, has launched a new independent division dedicated to high quality advisory, consultancy and research services.

LCI Analytics will initially cover mission critical rotorcraft and advanced air mobility operations across sectors including energy, emergency medical services (EMS), and search and rescue (SAR).  It will publish regular, in-depth research and forecasts, and leverage its in-house knowledge, experience, and computing power to deliver actionable, real-time insights from big data.

It will also deliver bespoke advisory, consulting and forecasting services to stakeholders such as governments, developers, manufacturers, operators and investors.  These insights will have applications in market research, business planning, fund-raising and M&A.

Steve Robertson, a respected energy sector economist with a background in commercial and strategic market consulting and research, will lead the new division as Managing Director.

Jaspal Jandu, CEO of LCI, says: “The aviation and energy markets are increasingly being driven by the forces of efficiency, sustainability, and scalability.  Advances in STEM disciplines, computing power and analytics will play a key role in the transportation and logistics networks of the future.

“The creation of LCI Analytics supports our core belief in sustainable innovation and growth. With his proven track record in this field, I am confident that Steve Robertson will quickly establish LCI Analytics as a reputable and trusted source of insight.”

LCI Analytics will combine millions of flight data points from proprietary and third-party sources, and will operate one of the largest private networks of ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast)(1) flight tracking receivers worldwide.

It will use this data to track and benchmark key metrics such as supply, demand, costs, and emissions, and will identify future hotspots.  Applications include new advanced air mobility networks, and also the growing logistical operations around offshore wind farms.

Steve Robertson, Managing Director of LCI Analytics, says: “LCI is a proven and reputable aviation business, and the opportunity to work with them to establish a new research and advisory consultancy is an exciting one.

“LCI Analytics’ deep understanding and detailed coverage of traditional and new energy markets, such as offshore wind, will enable us to deliver unique insights to help our clients make informed and data-driven decisions. We start this new journey with the added experience of hundreds of successful consulting projects, industry-leading published reports, and support work on public and private transactions totalling tens of billions of dollars.”

Prior to joining LCI, Steve was the Founder and Principal of research and consulting firm Air & Sea Analytics. Before that, he spent 17 years at an energy-sector research and consulting business Westwood Global Energy in a number of roles including Director and Board Member.

The launch of LCI Analytics follows the acquisition of a 35% stake in LCI by Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Co., Ltd. (SMFL) in 2023.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors:

(1) Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) is an aviation technology in which an aircraft (or other airborne vehicles such as drones approved to fit “ADS-B Out”) determines its position via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts its position and other related data.

About LCI:

LCI is a leading aviation company that is uniquely positioned across the commercial fixed-wing, helicopter and advanced air mobility sectors. Since its inception in 2004, LCI has undertaken approximately US$10 billion of aviation transactions and provides leasing services to operators, Governments and end-users.

LCI is owned by Libra Group (, a privately-owned international business group whose subsidiaries own and operate assets in nearly 60 countries and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) ( For more information, visit

About LCI Analytics:

LCI Analytics is the independent advisory, consulting and research division of LCI, and delivers insights about the mission critical rotary, energy and advanced air mobility markets. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact: 

Charlie Hampton


Tel: +44 (0)7884 187297 



LCI Executive Vice President, Nigel Leishman, explains how aircraft leases enable operators to manage their risk efficiently.

Since its foundation in 2004, LCI’s highly experienced and well-connected management team has worked closely with aircraft and engine manufacturers and with major financial institutions. It has acquired a reputation for effectively managing risk for fixed and rotary wing aircraft operators through the provision of agile and innovative aircraft leasing services.

 The operating leases facilitated by LCI on state-of-the-art aircraft and helicopters provide a wide range of benefits, enabling operators to avoid capital-intensive purchases of new aircraft, and manage their costs more efficiently through this source of asset financing.

 Operating leases are not only a more efficient means of preserving capital, they also enable aircraft operators to effectively manage their risk.

Balance sheet advantage

An operating lease moves a large part of the residual value risk of an aircraft from the operator to the lessor, the latter of whom is better placed to manage this asset as part of a much larger portfolio.  Lessors have large customer bases and are in constant contact with operators around the world with in depth knowledge of who needs what equipment at any given time. This in-depth knowledge enables lessors to efficiently move the aircraft to another operator or region as needed. Additionally, lessors may use their experience to take a more aggressive and higher view on the residual value than an operator might if they financed the aircraft themselves, thereby reducing an operator’s overall costs for the portion of the aircraft’s life used by the operator.

 The recent downturn in the oil and gas market left many operators with surplus aircraft, and any operator with surplus equipment knows what a financial drag it is to maintain and insure equipment which is not earning revenue.  During a downturn, operators will have a very difficult time reducing their fleet by selling excess equipment and the prices they could obtain for the excess equipment generally will not be satisfactory.  Having aircraft on relatively short term operating leases allows operators to simply meet the return conditions and hand the aircraft back to the lessor upon lease termination, thereby mitigating against these risks.

 No ‘up front’ costs

Operating leases also provide other ways to reduce financial risk to operators. The ‘up front’ costs in an operating lease are limited to a security deposit and one month’s aircraft rental with no form of pre-delivery deposit required, a lower outlay than the down payment required in a finance lease, and considerably less than the equity outlay required in the case of an outright purchase.

 Removing currency and interest rate risk

Lessors will often work with banking partners to fix the monthly rental rates which are often in US Dollars or Euros, but in some cases may be offered in the operator’s local currency, thereby removing the risk of adverse exchange rate movements.

 Over and above this, lessors such as LCI can forward fix these rentals up to 18 months or more before the delivery of the aircraft and commencement of the contract to avoid adverse movements in exchange rates.  As helicopters are often purchased in Euros (for Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo), but lenders rely upon their value which is appraised in US Dollars, this frees operators from the need to hedge against exchange rate risk in both Euros and US Dollars.

 The same concept applies for interest rates.  LCI fixes the rate at the time of delivery to provide fixed monthly rentals, thereby reducing the exposure for operators to fluctuations in interest rates over the period of any long-term contracts.

 Value added

As residual values reflect the future demand for a particular aircraft type, these values can vary considerably making a lessor’s aircraft choice critical to its success. One of the reasons LCI invests in new generation helicopters such as the Leonardo AW169 is that we believe that these designs will continue to have a strong market demand long into the future. Whilst there are older, less expensive aircraft available, they are no longer state-of-the-art and the fact that they may well have lower residual values in future means their monthly lease costs may actually be higher than more expensive helicopters. By leasing the latest technology aircraft which have strong residual values, operators can often benefit from leasing newer, more capable and better performing helicopters at a lower cost.

 New generation helicopters

Lessors like LCI can also help manage technical risk as they often have greater experience with new aircraft types than the operators who lease them.  LCI has specialised in new generation helicopters such as AW139, AW189 AW169 and H175, and to date has taken delivery of more than 40 new helicopters, giving it huge experience and expertise in managing the aircraft acceptance process.  LCI works closely with operators and manufacturers to develop the aircraft configurations and specifications, and can also work with third party suppliers to customise the aircraft’s fit out after it is delivered.

 Flexibly, globally available

Having a fleet of significant size enables lessors to not only offer helicopters for lease at points across the globe, but to do so at varying lease terms that match an operator’s contractual needs, and terms that can be extended as necessary to remained aligned with those needs.

 Cost-effective maintenance

Most new technology helicopters are supported by the manufacturer’s cost-effective power-by-the-hour programmes (PBH) which cover airframe, avionics and engine, and provide an hourly fixed cost covering spares and maintenance. LCI has already negotiated these PBH agreements and in the event operators do not already have their own programs, LCI can make them available to operators, ensuring their maintenance requirements and cost risk is efficiently handled.

 Customer-focused solutions

LCI works closely with customers from the early stage of identifying a potential aircraft requirement through to delivery and in-service operation.  This partnership-based approach ensures that LCI can not only provide an aircraft that is tailored to the operator’s needs, but does so in a way that manages their risk effectively.

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Lessor LCI optimistic on future demand – FlightGlobal

Lessor LCI believes the market for medium and heavy helicopters is beginning to recover after several consecutive years of downturn.

“I don’t think we are seeing the impact yet on pricing but we are seeing a huge amount of activity,” says chief executive Mike Platt.

“Look at the number of tenders out there, in oil and gas in particular.”

However, he cautions that although part of an improving picture, activity in the North Sea and Persian Gulf regions is still lagging other area, notably Southeast Asia.

“But if you add it all up, over the next 12-15 months the demand picture is changing dramatically,” he says.

Platt sees interest across the board in the medium and super-medium segments, where it holds orders for a variety of the Leonardo Helicopters and Airbus Helicopters types, including their respective AW189 and H175.

Those two aircraft – which Platt refers to as light-heavies – are increasingly used as alternatives to 10-passenger models such as the Sikorsky S-92, he says.

He says availability on the H175 is “18 to 24 months” with the AW189 “starting to see that sort of activity”.

He also praises the in-development H160, and may consider adding the 6t-class helicopter to LCI’s fleet.

LCI currently has 40 helicopters in operation, with another 12 on firm order.

To view the original article, click here

Lessors see Asia-Pacific uptick – Rotorhub

Helicopter lessors took significant strides in Asia in 2018, securing deals across different segments. While there are challenges, companies are seeing vast potential in the region’s highly populated markets which looks to continue into 2019 and beyond.

Lease Corporation International (LCI) secured its first helicopter lease in China in July, placing three new Leonardo AW139 platforms with Shanghai Kingwing Aviation Co for use in EMS work.

While this is the lessor’s first deal in the Chinese market, the company has been active in Asia-Pacific since it entered the helicopter business in 2012, said Nigel Leishman, LCI’s executive VP, who is based in Singapore.

The company is particularly active in Southeast Asia (with leases in Malaysia and Thailand), as well as in Australia, where it has 12 helicopters on lease, including ten for dedicated EMS and air rescue.

Oil and gas is an important market in Asia for medium twin-engine helicopters, as it is across the globe, said Leishman.

However, LCI sees strong opportunities in EMS, particularly in China, though he said the market has yet to mature in the vast Asian country and it will take time to reach its potential.

When LCI first started looking at the Chinese market about six or seven years ago, Leishman said, there were just a handful of dedicated EMS helicopters in the country. Now there are about 50.

While this is huge growth, it is still a relatively small number for a country of around 1.4 billion people.

‘You can see the opportunity there, but it’s going to take time,’ Leishman said, adding that there are still regulatory constraints and it can be difficult to find enough pilots to train and operate the helicopters, among other challenges.
Nevertheless, China is a hugely exciting region for helicopter lessors, Leishman said, in EMS, oil and gas, utilities and other segments. Chinese oil and gas operators are also likely to conduct more international work through the country’s “Belt and Road” initiative, he said, which could create more opportunities for these operators in other parts of the world, such as other Asian countries and Africa.

The maturer markets in the broader Asia-Pacific region remain hugely important, Leishman said, notably Australia and New Zealand, which together soak up almost a third of the total Asian fleet. There is a lot of EMS activity in these countries at the moment, he said, along with activity in other sectors.

‘Clearly they are a big market, and given the geography of both countries, helicopters are being used quite extensively.’

Other lessors are also targeting China. Waypoint Leasing has been in the Chinese market since 2016, working in EMS and utility, said Philip Stransky, VP, sales & relationship management – Asia/Australia & Pacific.

It shifted its Asian headquarters from Singapore to Hong Kong at the beginning of the year; this brought closer proximity to the burgeoning Chinese market, while still being relatively convenient for Malaysia and other southeast Asian nations, said Stransky.

‘We were repositioning ourselves with regards to the client base we have and the growth we’re expecting,’ Stransky told Shephard.

The past year was a strong one in Asia for the lessors, said Stransky, due partly to a number of large projects, many of these based in China. He said that while oil and gas has been relatively stable, the EMS segment has been growing, in China particularly.

However, the country’s market is complex and requires a great deal of time and resources, he added. Waypoint has been active in a number of other countries in the region, Stransky said, pointing to its entry to the Taiwanese market in July, when it delivered three Leonardo AW169 helicopters to Emerald Pacific Airlines for use in EMS and other missions.

Additionally, the company has placed helicopters in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, and Australia, he added.
While EMS is a focus for a number of operators, ‘you cannot discount oil and gas’, Stransky said. That market could quickly increase in demand, he said.

‘A number of countries could enter growth mode and need to produce more, and you could see more tenders happening overnight,’ he said. ‘It’s the same all over the world.’

Stransky also highlighted a number of potential growth markets in the coming years, notably windfarms. There could be opportunities in this sector in Asia, he said, though this will be in the longer term.

Lobo Leasing has part of its leased fleet of helicopters in Asia, said Mark Kelly, managing director and chief commercial officer, with the company mainly active in the Gulf of Thailand. It sees potential ‘right across’ the continent over the next five to ten years, he added, particularly in India and China.

‘We are currently bidding for leasing contracts in the region,’ Kelly told Shephard, adding that some Asian countries will likely be the largest leasing markets in the future.

There is a great deal of opportunity in Asia, said Stransky. This comes with some risk, he said, ‘but we’re in the business of analysing risk. It’s been an exciting year for the region, and next year will likely be equally exciting’.

To view the  original article, click here

LCI strengthens its team with major technical and legal hires – Helicopter Investor

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, has further strengthened its operation with the appointments of John Gumulak as Technical Director and Eric Sherlock as Legal Counsel.

These senior hires reinforce LCI’s position as a full-service leasing platform with the capacity to manage assets efficiently across the globe and across multiple operators and end-users.

John Gumulak joins LCI from Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service (WHRS) in Australia, where he oversaw the continued airworthiness of Westpac’s fleet of AW139 helicopters, and was the chief point of liaison for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) including Leonardo Helicopters on all technical matters.

As Technical Director based at LCI’s Singapore office, John will augment the existing technical team to support LCI and its customers in the region.

Eric Sherlock joins LCI from Elix Aviation Capital, where he managed the legal team on behalf of the turboprop lessor. Prior, Eric worked as a capital markets and corporate finance associate at Arthur Cox and Clifford Chance LLP.

Eric joins a highly-experienced legal team at LCI’s HQ in Dublin, and will work across all aspects of aircraft leasing, purchasing and financing.

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, said: “We are delighted to welcome John and Eric to our team, whose appointments form part of our wider strategy to recruit world-class expertise to every area of the business.

“John and Eric bring extensive, international industry experience to their roles which will prove invaluable as LCI continues to transact across a wide range of markets.”

In the past year LCI has leased fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to operators in the UK, China, Turkey, and Italy and New York, and has also managed a number of assets on behalf of third-party investors.

To view the article, click here

LCI transforms AW139 for EMS operations – Rotorhub

Lease Corporation International (LCI) has completed the transition of a Leonardo AW139 helicopter for Elitaliana in Italy, the company announced on 17 October.

The helicopter has been converted from its previous oil and gas fitout and has been equipped for emergency medical services (EMS) operations. The aircraft is the second of its type to be operated by Elitaliana. It will operate from Elitaliana’s EMS bases in Rome and the Lazio region alongside three AW169 helicopters.

Manfredo de Windisch Graetz of Elitaliana, sais: ‘As Elitaliana’s EMS operations in Italy continue to expand, we are delighted to welcome our second AW139 helicopter to the fleet, utilising the skills of our long term partner LCI to seamlessly grow our operations.’

The AW139 was transported to Italy from Malaysia following a long-term lease from LCI to Weststar Aviation Services.

To view the article, click here

LCI Sees Strong Middle Market for Helicopters – AIN

Lease Corporation International (LCI, Booth C3654) has placed an Airbus Helicopters H175 with CHC, marking the second of the super medium twins that the operator has obtained from LCI. It is expected to enter service in December, a year after CHC’s first H175, and will support the operator’s UK business.Founded in 2004, LCI and its helicopter portfolio currently concentrates solely on medium and super-medium types, totaling 42 with an average age of three years, all but one purchased new from the manufacturer. The Libra Group subsidiary has approximately $750 million of helicopter assets in service and on order.“We are what I call a technical lessor,” explained Crispin Maunder, LCI’s executive chairman. “We pride ourselves in knowing what it is that we’re leasing, what it can do, how it works and what the technical qualities of the aircraft are. We actually talk to the manufacturers and tell them what we need. Even if they haven’t got it spec themselves, we’ll say this is a capability we want, build it in, we’ll pay for it extra.”The company’s leased helicopters are used in a variety of missions including EMS, which is 50 percent of the fleet; search and rescue; offshore wind; utility and training; pilot transfers; and offshore oil-and-gas. According to Maunder, its exposure to the latter constitutes only around 30 percent of its portfolio.“The oil-and-gas sector has obviously been through really rough times,” he told AIN. “We’ve had three body blows: the oil price collapse, the [Airbus] H225 incident, and then the CHC Chapter 11, which didn’t exactly affect us that much.” While LCI did have some helicopters with CHC, Maunder noted, those were under structured financing lease, which left the main equity burden to the operator.As the company does not participate in the heavy helicopter market, its oil-and-gas demand for the Leonardo AW139 and AW189 comes primarily from shorter routes off shore in places such as Australia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, the Gulf of Mexico, Africa, and South America, rather than the longer legs required for North Sea operations. The H175 and AW189 are starting to make inroads in that region as well, said Maunder, who has three decades of experience in the aircraft leasing sector.He believes the oil and gas market is entering into a slow recovery mode, but expressed chagrin over the lingering uncertainty as oil companies issue, change, and pull tenders. “Quite often these tenders require the delivery of new helicopters, and we have the order books. The lessees the operators are not going to commit until they know they’ve got the contract, and it’s frustrating everyone at the moment.”Another area where LCI is seeing growth is in the offshore wind segment, which is especially suited to medium helicopters such as the AW139, AW169, and Airbus H145. While offshore oil-and-gas is primarily transport between the land base and the rig, wind operation requires transport from the land to the accommodation barge, and from the barge to the individual turbines for maintenance an activity that involves lowering the work crews to the service platform on the back of the wind turbine itself and retrieving them later.Like others, Maunder views the EMS market in China as a great opportunity. “You haven’t even skimmed the market there yet,” he noted. “AW139s and AW119s are going into China in a big way, and we are planning to be part of that as well.”To view the original article, click here

A Lessor’s Perspective – Helicopter Investor

Lease Corporation International (LCI) has found a niche in the helicopter leasing market, focusing purely on medium-category helicopters – especially the Leonardo AW139s and AW169s – and spreading them far and wide across different operations, with only 30% of its fleet serving the oil and gas industry. These are a few of the reasons that help make LCI more optimistic than other lessors right now.

The lessor’s CEO Mike Platt introduced the Helicopter Investor 2018 conference last month, opened reinforcing the message that his company was in a good place. With no heavy helicopters in its fleet and not dealing much in the light market, LCI is benefitting from the market focusing increasingly on the medium helicopter class.

Building LCI’s fleet to more than 40 new aircraft was a slow and methodical process, but a process that has resulted in its having the youngest and most-liquid fleet of all the big-name helicopter lessors.

With LCI riding high off its capital market debut and its confidence in emerging markets such as offshore wind and the slow recovery of oil prices we met with LCI’s executive chairman Crispin Maunder at Heli-Expo to find out more on the reasons for positivity hopeful right now.

Helicopter Investor: In short, where is LCI standing right now?

Crispin: “Our focus is to try and balance the portfolio, ideally on long-term contracts. Almost 50% of our portfolio is on long-term EMS operations, primarily AW139s and AW169s. Then we are on SAR, offshore wind and harbour pilot operations. Oil and gas represents 25-30% of the portfolio – a smaller percentage than that of a lot of other lessors.”

Helicopter Investor: Tell us about the capital market debut – What helicopters will you be getting?

Crispin: “We recently tapped into the capital market for the first time and we are very proud of that. The $55+ million financing closed last month, and I see more happening in the future.

“It was the right time for us to get into capital financing. The capital market is available and is flexible, not secured against a particular asset, so it gives us more versatility. It is part of the typical development of any business, you start off with secure financing against a helicopter, then you move on to unsecured.

“Regarding the helicopters we are acquiring, it is an ongoing discussion with Leonardo as we have conversion rights. It will be a mix of AW139s, AW169s and AW189s. I would say more on the AW139 and AW169 and less on the AW189 but, as the market changes, we can change the order book. This will keep us going for the next 12-18 months.”

Helicopter Investor: Where will these helicopters be deployed?

Crispin: “I would say more of the helicopters will be going into offshore oil and gas as the market improves. Oil prices are beginning to stabilise around the $60 per barrel point which is where it becomes viable for most of the oil producers to start ordering. We are seeing more tenders coming up from oil and gas companies although they are still relatively slow. The oil companies are putting out tenders and cancelling or delaying a lot.

“If an operator does not have a helicopter, it will come to a lessor to get the helicopter for that tender. We are seeing deals getting underway then getting delayed. These tender delays have been going on for the past two years. That was certainly the case during the downturn of the market and post CHC bankruptcy, which saw a lot of contracts being terminated due to the oil price drop.”

Helicopter Investor: Why such a large focus on the AW139 and AW169?

Crispin: “When we looked at what was available, we looked at Airbus, Sikorsky, Bell and AgustaWestland. Coming from a fixed-wing background, the AW139 is the equivalent of the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 – a very flexible and versatile helicopter.

“When we have AW139s coming down the production line, we can look at them as offshore, EMS, offshore wind, SAR, utility and even corporate etc, There‘s a whole variety of missions they can fulfil. They are very versatile machines and allow you to tap into a lot of markets.

“With the AgustaWestland family, you have the AW169 that can hold between 8-10 passengers, the AW139 that can take up to 15 passengers and the AW189 that can hold 17-18. This is a similar gap to that you see in the fixed-wing market.”

Helicopter Investor: How is the offshore wind market looking for you?

Crispin: “Offshore wind is looking good. The primary areas of interest are the North Sea, the UK side and the German/Dutch side and the Danish sectors. There is going to be developments on the east coast of the US – down through Massachusetts, Connecticut and that area. Wind companies are also looking towards Asia, to China and Taiwan specifically. The cost of generating wind power is coming down and turbines are getting bigger and bigger and demanding more-sophisticated support.

“Some of the wind-farm operators are still trying to make do with ships   Service Operation Vessel s(SOVs). It is an open question whether these will be suitable with the expansion. Currently, a lot of companies are using helicopters as a backup – but these are expensive backups.

“However, you have renewable energy companies like Ørsted that are using helicopters much more in transporting people to the turbines. It is central to their logistical operations.”

Helicopter Investor: What helicopters are you flying on offshore wind?

Crispin: “For us, it is classically the AW169 and H145. The H145 it is a good aircraft but we don’t have it in the inventory at the moment, but the AW169 has a benefit in that it offers single-engine performance and its hovering out of ground effect is high.

“This means you have about around two and a half minutes you can hover before you have to move away from the site with the AW169. It is about half this figure for the H145 – so you would have to hoist people quickly.

“Also, the AW169 has much more space in the cabin, which is preferable as engineers bring a lot of stuff with them. The H145 can hold the same number of people if you don’t bring anything extra, but if you are brining tool-kits the space is compromised – this can be a safety concern especially when hoisting.”

Helicopter Investor: How confident are you going into 2018?

Crispin: “I would look at it in three different areas in our markets, starting with the medium category. EMS is steady as always. Even through the market downturn EMS held up so we are comfortable there and even optimistic, we have seen quite a few tenders come up this year that we are getting involved in.

“We are still cautious about offshore oil and gas though we appear to have seen the bottom. Finally, looking at SAR, we have got through the initial optimism and enthusiasm lessors saw in that market. I think there will be a second phase of optimism, but we are waiting on governments to decide on how helicopters can help in an SAR context. This is what is happening in the UK anyway, the UK Coastguard search-and-rescue helicopter programme is coming up to the end of its first life, and now people are looking at it and asking if the programme is working and how much it is costing? We are all interested in what the answers are.”

Helicopter Investor: Are EMS operators standardising fleets?

Crispin: “I was with an EMS operator in Europe only a couple of weeks ago and it is looking to move out of its two-type fleet to standardise with one helicopter type.

“The MD helicopters the operator has they love, but they are getting expensive to maintain and service, so the operator is looking at what it should do now as far as its work is concerned. It rarely sees a two-type requirement so is evaluating that and trying to keep it to one type – a newer type.

“Certainly, standardisation makes a lot of sense, especially for the many operators who are having to deal with five or six units. With a fleet of 20 you can mix or match, but if you are in the five or six range and want a standard fleet at least at some level i.e. a mix of AW139 and AW169s. But you don’t really want to have a mix of Sikorsky and Airbus or Leonardo and Bell or something due the complications that come with it and the numbers of people that you have to deal with.

Helicopter Investor: Are these operators going to OEMs for servicing?

Crispin: “Some are going to local maintenance centres, but from our point of view we want to team up with the engine, airframe and avionics manufacturers and go for a power-by-the-hour maintenance scheme. It gives operator a peace of mind, they know what the costs will be. We want to have an operator to know what the costs will be. We are fairly unique in that we go and do our own deals with the OEMs which we then pass on to our lessees. “

To view the original article, click here

Third EMS AW169 delivered to Elitaliana – AirMed&Rescue

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, has delivered a third new Leonardo Helicopters AW169 helicopter to Elitaliana.

Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, has delivered a third new Leonardo Helicopters AW169 helicopter to Elitaliana S.r.l. in Italy, fully equipped for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations. The helicopter enters service with Elitaliana on a long term operating lease from LCI, and joins two other AW169s delivered by LCI in 2016 and 2017, operating from Elitaliana’s EMS bases in Rome and the Lazio region.

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of Lease Corporation International, says: “Elitaliana is a proven leader in helicopter operations in Italy, and we are delighted to be supporting their continued growth with the delivery of a third AW169 for their EMS fleet. This delivery to Elitaliana expands LCI’s presence in the Italian EMS market and reinforces our long-held strategy of developing a balanced and diverse portfolio, with the majority of our lease portfolio being concentrated on time critical markets.”

Elitaliana is Italy’s oldest helicopter company, having been founded in 1964, and has developed extensive operational experience in a wide range of areas including EMS, offshore helicopter transport, environmental monitoring, forest fire fighting, and search and rescue.

To view the article, click here