AgustaWestland, February 12, 2012 - AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, and Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of global conglomerate the Libra Group, have signed an agreement covering the purchase of a fleet of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters.
The related contract, which also includes options, is valued in excess of €300 million.
Building on its successful growth in the narrow and wide-body fixed-wing leasing market, LCI’s new helicopter division plans to offer helicopter operators an attractive alternative to buying and financing the purchase of the helicopters. LCI expects to be active in a number of markets including offshore, Search and Rescue and aero-medical transport.
Emilio Dalmasso, Senior VP Commercial Business, AgustaWestland, said after the signing: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with LCI for AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters which adds a brand new kind of customer to our list of clients. LCI’s decision to enter the helicopter business by investing in the latest generation of rotorcraft technology highlights its confidence in the opportunities offered by the commercial helicopter market in years to come.” He added “LCI maintains one of the world’s most modern fleets of commercial aircraft and the AgustaWestland range of high performance helicopters fits well with LCI’s successful market strategy to offer its clients the latest in efficient and productive aircraft.”
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman, LCI, added: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of careful analysis and observation of this sector. As a dynamic lessor we are confident that now is the time to make this move given the high level of unfulfilled demand for new generation helicopters, which the innovative, market-leading AgustaWestland helicopters are well placed to meet.” LCI will benefit from the commonality in design across the AW139, AW169 and AW189 family of new generation helicopters. As well as possessing the same high performance flight characteristics and safety features the helicopters share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concepts that will allow more effective operations for customers operating helicopter fleets from 4 to 8.5 tonnes.
The AW139 is the market leader in the medium twin helicopter market with almost 600 sold in more than 50 countries to approximately 160 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 AW169 is an all-new twin-engine helicopter in the 4-tonne class. Engineered to satisfy the operational and mission requirements of the most demanding parapublic and commercial operators, the AW169 employs new technologies to achieve high levels of safety, performance and comfort with very competitive economics. The spacious cabin can seat up to ten passengers or two stretchers plus medical attendants.
The AW189 is designed in response to the growing market demand for a versatile, affordable, multirole helicopter. The AW189 performed its maiden flight in December 2011. Entering service in early 2014, the new 8-tonne class, twin engine helicopter is optimised for the long range offshore transport and SAR missions. The spacious cabin is configured with 16 seats as standard. Seating options include a high density 18 seat layout or long range 12 seat configuration.