Many Happy Returns – RotorHub

With the pandemic causing only limited disruption to rotary-wing operations, and sectors such as HEMS experiencing high demand, the helicopter leasing market has remained strong, and the leading lessors expect to do plenty of business in the coming years, as Michael Doran discovers.

Since its launch in 2004, aviation leasing company LCI has undertaken transactions with a total value of more than US$8 billion. In December 2021, it announced its acquisition of Nova Capital Aviation (Ireland), the twin engine helicopter and fixed-wing leasing division of Nova Capital Group. 

The acquisition increased the size of LCI’s fleet by 40% to more than 140 twin-engine aircraft valued at half a billion dollars, and CEO Jaspal Jandu notes that it reflects the current trend towards industry consolidations and cements LCI’s long-term commitment to growth. 

“LCI has strategically developed a diversified customer base to position the company as a preferred lessor for the end markets focused on mission-critical EMS, SAR, offshore wind and utility operations,” he explains. “The acquisition accelerates that strategy by driving a wider diversification that take the proportion of our fleet deployed in mission-critical to more than 80%.”

LCI has its own propriety digital lease management system that can be accessed 24/7 on any device and has created digital twins of all the aircraft, providing back-to-birth records in real time. 

Jandu reveals that LCI has ambitious growth plans for the next five years and says that growth will come from the mission-critical sectors it is already building its business around. “We anticipate continued strong demand from mature EMS markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe, as well as growing demand from emerging EMS markets including Malaysia, China and Latin America. 

“In addition, there is an increasing requirement for oil companies to have a proven SAR capability to support their offshore operations, while other potential areas of public services growth include policing, firefighting and maritime nations seeking to survey national waters,” he notes. 

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