European manufacturer Leonardo Helicopters waited for the International Paris Air Show Le Bourget to announce Lease Corporation International (LCI), Libra Group’s aviation division, had placed a new $120 million order for nine new aircraft, of three types: AW139s, AW169s and AW189s.
This contract brings the total number of helicopters manufactured by the Italian-British company in the LCI fleet to 49. Five AW169s and one AW139 were delivered in June. They will be used for search and rescue (SAR), pilot transfers, emergency medical services (EMS), mission training and air work. Deliveries are scheduled to take place throughout 2017 and 2018.
Leonardo also announced it was strengthening strategic cooperation in the Chinese market by signing a renewal contract with Intercontinental Helicopter Investment, part of Shanghai Zenisun Investment, a Shanghai based multinational specialized in real estate and aviation. The agreement includes the delivery of 17 helicopters over the next three years. In addition, it appoints Intercontinental Helicopter Investment as the sole distributor of the brand’s civil aircraft, whether destined for commercial or offshore markets. By June 2019 at the latest, the agreement will be extended to cover the entire Chinese helicopter market.

By François Blanc