Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, has grown its Australia-based fleet of helicopters to 14 Leonardo AW139s with the arrival of two aircraft.
The two AW139s are being transitioned by LCI customer, Babcock International Group company, from Aberdeen, United Kingdom to Karratha, Western Australia, where they will be operated by Babcock Australasia, providing offshore transportation for a leading oil and gas producer.
The two helicopters join LCI’s fleet of 12 AW139s already based in Australia, ten of which are used on EMS (emergency medical services) operations.
Six of these aircraft are also operated by Babcock, deployed on behalf of Air Ambulance Victoria providing aero-medical care service in emergencies across the state as well as rapid transport service for patients between major and rural hospitals. Two are used by Babcock Australasia for offshore missions.
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, says: “Australia is a dynamic market with huge long term potential across a range of operating sectors, and has been a major commercial priority for LCI since we entered the helicopter leasing market in 2012. We are delighted to be supporting the growth of Babcock’s helicopter operations in Australia.”
The growth in LCI’s operations in Australia comes as it expands its presence in the wider Asia-Pacific region, which now accounts for over 40% of LCI’s fleet.
In the past 12 months, LCI commenced its first leases in China, for three new AW139s to leading EMS operator Shanghai Kingwing, expanded the number of aircraft it has in operation with longstanding customer Weststar – the leading offshore helicopter aviation services provider – and has grown its regional executive team with the appointment of Chris Lloyd as Vice President Marketing, John Gumulak as Technical Director, and Lan Cao as its Beijing-based China representative.
Maunder adds: “Asia-Pacific is a diverse and fast-growing region for helicopter leasing, and one in which we will continue to increase our presence over the next five years.”
LCI’s fleet, which comprises approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, is focused on the latest technology light-twin, medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by the leading helicopter OEMs, including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.