– 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 


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