Airlift AS was established in 1986 and, over the last 30 years, has built up considerable experience and expertise in passenger and cargo transportation. In March 2017, a lease agreement was signed with LCI to deliver three AW169s to support their rapidly growing sea pilot transfer operation with state-of-the-art helicopters.

Sea pilots need to be transported as quickly and efficiently as possible to enable ships to leave and enter harbour on schedule, and avoid incurring costly delays, and Airlift AS required helicopters that could achieve this in a cost-effective manner.


As the launch customer for the AW169, LCI was able to provide a solution for Airlift AS with a delivery of three of the innovative helicopters on a flexible financing arrangement.

The Leonardo AW169 is a versatile, new generation twin-turbine, light intermediate category helicopter, which can accommodate up to ten passengers allowing more sea pilots to be transferred much faster than the traditional method of using boats. The aircraft is certified in accordance with EASA CS-29 / FAR Part 29 standards for performance and safety.


Airlift AS is now providing a cost-effective, fast service in time-critical missions. 

Stian Harklau, Managing Director of Airlift AS, says: “The sea pilots transfer contract is very important for Airlift and we want to give our client the best possible service, using the modern AW169 aircraft.

“We were delighted to be working with LCI Helicopters who were extremely supportive of our requirements and we look forward to further developing our relationship over the coming years.”


Heli-Union’s expansion into the South-East Asian market required additional helicopters for their offshore oil and gas operations. LCI was able to provide a next-generation helicopter model to support their growth.


Heli-Union required support for their growing offshore activities with their clients in South-East Asia. Their clients within the oil and gas industry – joining an impressive roster including TotalEnergies, PETRONAS, and PTTEP – required commercial air transportation services for their offshore drilling rigs. 

Heli-Union’s clients needed a long-range helicopter that was highly durable in order to meet the rigours of servicing offshore rigs. A lease agreement was signed with LCI to deliver a new, state-of-the-art Leonardo AW139 helicopter to bolster their existing fleet.


LCI’s highly experienced experts worked closely with Heli-Union to provide a solution that supported their wider fleet strategy. The Leonardo AW139 is a versatile, modern, twin-turbine, medium category helicopter which can accommodate up to fifteen passengers. Since its launch into the market, the AW139 has become the aircraft of reference for offshore activity. 

LCI provided an aircraft under a lease agreement, allowing Heli-Union to service their range of offshore clients.


Heli-Union is now better able to provide air transportation services to the offshore drilling rigs of their clients. So much so, that during the course of the initial lease, Heli-Union extended the lease contract given the success of the operation. Heli-Union has since signed three long-term contracts with TotalEnergies, PETRONAS, and PTTEP which make use of the new aircraft.

Patrick Molis, President and CEO of Heli-Union, says: “Adjusting our fleet strategy and leasing this custom-fitted, next-generation aircraft has equipped us to make the most of opportunities for growth in the region. We are delighted to be working with LCI who have been highly responsive, and extremely supportive of our requirements. We look forward to further developing our relationship over the coming years.”

Hunter Westpac

As a not-for-profit, community-supported operation providing essential services throughout the northern New South Wales region of Australia, Westpac wanted to meet the NSW Government’s aim to improve its Helicopter Retrieval Network. It needed fit-for-purpose aircraft, able to fly life-critical emergency medical missions, and with a flexible lease arrangement.


Higher quality clinical care, delivered faster and safer than before, was the objective. New South Wales is a diverse and large area of Australia covering around 809,500 km² with many residents in remote parts of the region. High quality aircraft with proven performance data were required for Westpac and the government to have confidence in these new additions to the fleet and their role in its strategy. Westpac came to LCI for an agreement to lease the versatile AW139.


LCI proposed a multi-year agreement to lease four new AW139 helicopters to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. The delivery schedule (in 2016) places the aircraft in Newcastle, Tamworth and Lismore, following comprehensive fit-out for EMS operations. The high-specification helicopters include full medical and rescue essential equipment and winch. Financed under a tripartite, 10-year arrangement with Westpac Banking Corporation, an existing financier of LCI and long-term naming rights sponsor of the helicopter operator, this new relationship brings benefits for all parties.


Working with NSW Ambulance, on behalf of NSW Health within the Government of New South Wales, the new helicopters will bring better, safer healthcare and emergency rescue services across the north of the NSW region. In turn, this improves safety and patient outcomes in Australia and serves as an example for how modern, high-performance aircraft can be adapted and deployed in remote settings. 

John Candy, Commercial Finance Manager at the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, commented:”We are excited to be working with LCI to upgrade our fleet. As we worked together on the NSW Health contract throughout 2014 that experience endorsed our choice of aircraft lessor in LCI, with their team going above and beyond to support our bid.”


An agreement was soon made for two AW139 helicopters through innovative and flexible lease financing. LCI was able to provide this for HeliService through its strong relationship with Leonardo, delivering the aircraft on time and fully modified to ensure the benefits of the aircraft themselves enhanced the advantages of the LCI financing.


Based in North Germany and with a heritage stretching back to 1987, respected operator HeliService international quickly needed customised aircraft that could meet the exacting requirements of missions for its ambitious expansion plans in the growing offshore wind industry across the North Sea and Baltic regions.

HeliService knew what it was looking for, already operating in difficult environments such as Antarctica and the Artic, and its fleet already contained a number of AW139 helicopters.


LCI was able to lease two market-leading AW139 helicopters that had been built to a precise and high specification for HeliService, including dual hoists. Proper equipment and having the aircraft in place as soon as possible was essential to undertake these mission-critical operations in line with corporate strategy and expansion plans.

Flexible financing arrangements meant that that the prompt delivery of the helicopters kept everything on schedule and helped planning for HeliService.


HeliService is now flying those North Sea and Baltic missions, increasing its presence both in the region and the offshore wind energy sector.


A new contract with Tullow Oil in Mauritania marked the beginning of an international expansion for which new, high-performance aircraft were needed to support Tullow Oil’s offshore operations off the west coast of Africa.

Looking to respond to this immediately to meet the Tullow Oil need and cement its commercial relationship, Weststar approached LCI for a solid arrangement to benefit all parties.


Looking to expand overseas and build its global brand, Weststar Aviation Services was keen to close its deal with Tullow Oil and provide it with two helicopters for the West African coast. Tullow was likewise keen to maintain its competitive edge leading reputation for oil and gas exploration and production across Africa and the Atlantic Margins.

Quality aircraft with a decent payload and range are essential for crew transportation and general coverage in the region where Tullow operates and it looks for safe, reliable helicopters from trusted operators such as Weststar to help it in achieving this.


Two new AW139 helicopters, valued at over $30 million and initially operated under contract to Tullow Oil, were both delivered in June 2013 on a long-term lease basis. LCI already had an existing order valued at approximately US$400 million for new AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters and was able to bring in a further two aircraft for the fleet through its strong association with Leonardo.

The lease financing was completed quickly and efficiently, meaning Weststar could take the aircraft in a very short timeframe and immediately deploy them with Tullow Oil.


Immediately entering service and on attractive financial terms, the helicopters helped WesStar to honour its contract through the provision of high-performance aircraft in a vital setting for the oil and gas industry. Tried and tested, and with flexible leases, the benefits were instantly universal. Tan Sri Muhammad Ismail, CEO of Weststar Aviation Services, said: “LCI were a supportive and important partner in the provision of these helicopters. They were able to respond rapidly to our needs and give us access to the right technology on terms that suited this offshore deployment.”