LCI orders 18 more AgustaWestland Helicopters

LCI, the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, has announced a further multiyear contract with AgustaWestland for up to a further 18 helicopters worth over US$280 million. The order comprises commitments for up to fourteen AW139 intermediate helicopters and up to an additional four AW189 twin-engine helicopters.

These helicopters, which will be used by LCI’s helicopter division to offer its customers modern aircraft ready for offshore transport, search and rescue, aero-medical transport and other missions, will be delivered between 2014 and 2018, should all options be taken. The total contract, signed in Europe, is valued at over US$280 million and is in addition to the existing $400m contract in existence between the two companies, signed in early 2012, which includes the new twin-engine AW169. The first five AW139s from the existing order were delivered in 2013, with an increased delivery flow from this year and onwards.

Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, commented: “We have great pleasure in strengthening further this partnership with AgustaWestland. Their helicopters are particularly well suited to the market and are proving to be very popular with our lessees for a variety of roles. In particular we are excited about the new super-medium category of helicopters and our endorsement of the AW189 with the follow-on order underscoring our intention to be a major player in this space.”

Daniele Romiti, Chief Executive Officer, AgustaWestland said: “We are very pleased to sign this latest contract with LCI which has become one of the leading helicopter leasing companies since establishing a helicopter division only two years ago. LCI’s order for more AW139 and AW189 helicopters highlights both their and the market’s recognition that AgustaWestland products offer the best combination of performance and operating costs, whilst providing the very latest safety features.”

The AW139, AW169 and AW189 new generation helicopters offer a commonality in design across the family. As well as possessing the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features, they share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concept that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets of more than one type.

A market leader, over 750 examples of the AW139 have been sold in more than 60 countries to over 200 customers for many roles including VIP/corporate transport, passenger transport, law enforcement, fire fighting, offshore transport, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief and maritime security. The AW189 was designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole medium helicopter and is optimized for long-range missions with orders for 130 helicopters signed already.

Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a value of around US$6 billion. With some of the world’s leading names in aviation amongst its lessee base, LCI is also a launch customer for the Bombardier CSeries with a US$1.4 billion order for up to forty aircraft. Its helicopter leasing division was established in 2012 with a US$400m order for AgustaWestland helicopters. More recently KKR Financial Holdings agreed to invest more than $100 million in LCI’s helicopter unit to tap growing demand from the oil and gas sector.

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