AgustaWestland Lands $398M Helicopter Order

 - February 12, 2012, 3:35 PM

AgustaWestland and Dublin, Ireland-based Lease Corporation International (LCI) yesterday at Heli-Expo signed an agreement covering purchase of a fleet of AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters. Including options, the deal is valued at more than $398 million. The agreement also includes aircraft maintenance and pilot training. Deliveries of the helicopters are planned to begin next year, starting with the AW139, followed by the AW189 in 2014 and the AW169 still later, after its certification. LCI has already placed the first three aircraft with customers, according to the leasing firm’s executive chairman, Crispin Maunder. LCI expects to benefit from the commonality in design across the AgustaWestland helicopter family, since all three helicopters share a common cockpit layout, design philosophy and maintenance concepts. The company, part of the Libra Group, plans to offer helicopter operators “an attractive alternative to buying and financing the purchase of helicopters,” in particular in the offshore, search and rescue, law enforcement, border patrol and aeromedical fields. LCI CEO Michael Platt also made it clear that his company’s move into helicopters is long-term. “There will be other orders from other OEMs,” he explained, “and we also plan to offer a buy and lease-back program for current owners and operators.”