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September 16, 2021

LCI and SMFL expand helicopter leasing joint venture

By Alejandro Gonzalez

LCI, a helicopter leasing, management and investment platform, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) have acquired and committed to an additional 12 next-generation helicopters within their helicopter leasing joint venture.

The helicopters, which are worth over US$120 million, represent a more than 50 per cent expansion of the joint venture’s fleet less than a year after it was launched.

The new aircraft comprise of four Airbus Helicopters H145, three Leonardo AW139 and five Leonardo AW169 helicopters. They join the nineteen helicopters already owned by the vehicle which are leased across the globe on missions including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), and transportation to offshore wind farms.

Jaspal Jandu, chief executive of LCI, said: “The LCI and SMFL joint venture was purposefully created to offer a wide range of leasing and financing options to the helicopter industry on efficient and flexible terms. These latest acquisitions, so soon after the vehicle’s launch, further validate our efforts and represent a wider vote of continuing investor confidence in the helicopter leasing marketplace.”

Shinichiro Watanabe, managing executive officer of SMFL, said: “The robust model of our joint venture, featuring ESG-friendly, long-term leases on full power by the hour maintenance contracts, together with LCI’s skill as a partner, make this expansion a natural progression. We expect our collective and proven track record, knowledge and financial strength to continue to drive growth in the years ahead.”

LCI’s fleet comprises approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, focused on the latest technology medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.

These are in operation across four continents in multiple sectors including emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer and offshore crew transportation.

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