Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation division of the Libra Group, today announces the lease of three Leonardo AW169 helicopters to Airlift, the Norwegian subsidiary of NHV Group.
The three AW169s will be leased from LCI to support Airlift’s sea pilots transfer operations in Norway, with first deliveries are expected by the end of June this year.
Airlift AS, based in Forde (Bygstad), became part of NHV Group in 2014 and is one of Norway’s leading providers of helicopter services, specialised in offshore and onshore activities, heavylift operations and search and rescue missions.
LCI is the launch customer for the AW169 and has taken delivery of five of this type to date. These aircraft are now being deployed on a variety of missions including emergency medical services (EMS), offshore support, and utility and training. The lessor has orders and commitments for a further five AW169s which are due to be delivered between now and 2018.
Crispin Maunder, Executive Chairman of LCI, says: “We are delighted to be partnering with Airlift as they introduce the AW169 into service in Norway in this highly demanding role.”
“This is the first time that LCI helicopters have been used for sea pilot operations, demonstrating the broad range of applications for this versatile and innovative aircraft, for which we are already seeing high levels of interest from operators across the globe.”
The Leonardo AW169 is a versatile, new generation twin-turbine, light intermediate category helicopter, which can accommodate up to ten passengers. The AW169 is the first all new aircraft in its weight category to enter the market in more than 30 years, and is certified in accordance with EASA CS-29 / FAR Part 29 standards for performance and safety.
Stian Harklau, Managing Director of Airlift says: “It is fitting that Airlift is introducing the latest Leonardo helicopter type into operation out of our Bergen and Hammerfest bases. The sea pilots transfer contract is very important for Airlift and we look forward to giving our client the best possible service, using the modern AW169 aircraft. We are delighted to be working with LCI Helicopters who have been extremely supportive to our requirements and we look forward to further developing our relationship over the coming years.”
LCI’s helicopter division comprises a fleet of close to 60 helicopters, including the market-leading Leonardo AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters and next-generation Airbus Helicopters’ H175 and H130.