HAI Caps a Strong First Quarter for LCI Helicopters

LCI Helicopters touches down at the 2015 HAI Heli-Expo with new lessee customer commitments and expansions of its helicopter fleet to meet sustained growth in demand. Further announcements are planned for this week in Orlando, with the company at HAI Stand 4604.

In recent days, the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group has concluded agreements to place 10 new AgustaWestland AW139 aircraft in Australia – 6 with Australian Helicopters where they will operate with Air Ambulance Victoria and 4 with Westpac Rescue which will be deployed with NSW Ambulance.

These agreements come shortly after LCI’s commitment to expand its fleet further with a firm order in early February for an additional 11 AgustaWestland aircraft valued at US$125 million (€110 million). The new aircraft, which are made up of a mix of AW139, AW169 and AW189 aircraft, will be delivered between 2015 and 2016.

LCI’s helicopters are already in service supporting deep sea oil and gas production, along with aero-medical transport and search & rescue roles. Mike Platt, CEO of LCI, says: “Growing numbers of helicopter operators across the globe are turning to leasing as a cost-effective, cash-efficient means of updating their fleets with the newest aircraft available in the marketplace.

“The versatility of our growing fleet of new AgustaWestland and Airbus helicopters is making them popular with operators from a number of sectors, in particular offshore energy production and emergency medical services where we are seeing good long-term growth prospects.”

LCI Helicopters’ fleet is made up of 90 delivered and ordered helicopters, including the market-leading AgustaWestland AW139 and AW189 helicopters, and LCI will shortly be the launch customer for the new AW169.

LCI announced almost US$1 billion in new orders at the 2014 HAI Heli-Expo and has also attracted investment of more than US$100 million from KKR Financial Holdings, LLC, to address growing demand from the oil and gas sector, as well as search and rescue and air ambulance services. Since its inception in 2004, the company has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a combined value of approaching US$6 billion.

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