Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, has announced a new partnership with Indwe Aviation (Pty) in George, South Africa, through the long-term lease of an AW139 helicopter. The brand-new aircraft forms part of LCI’s multimillion dollar order from AgustaWestland first announced in 2012.
The lease agreement marks the beginning of a new relationship for LCI with Indwe Aviation and its parent company Titan Helicopter Group, a leading provider of helicopter services with operations spanning South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Peru, Antarctica, Mozambique, India and the Ivory Coast.
Lungisa Dyosi, CEO of Indwe Aviation, said: “The introduction of the AW139 helicopter to our fleet is a major advancement for offshore oil & gas operations in the region and the next step in our strategy to provide excellent service to the highest safety standards for all our customers, wherever they may be.”
The 15-seat, twin-engine helicopter will be operated by Indwe Aviation to provide offshore crew change support from George Airport, George, South Africa. The Titan Helicopter Group and its subsidiary Indwe Aviation are the first offshore helicopter operators to bring the AW139 onto the South African register.
Martin Steynberg, Chairman of the Titan Helicopter Group, added: “We are very pleased to have established this new relationship with LCI which represents a significant boost for the entirety of operations at Titan and Indwe through adoption of the very latest features in helicopter fleet safety and technology.”
LCI CEO, Michael Platt, added: “With this delivery, we are bringing the AW139 to new markets and forming a new commercial relationship with Indwe Aviation and Titan Helicopter Group. Leasing is a very flexible solution with advantages for all partners in the arrangement”.
LCI’s helicopter division comprises a fleet of over 75 brand-new models delivered and committed, including the market-leading AgustaWestland AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters along with the next-generation Airbus Helicopters EC175 and the newly-unveiled Airbus EC225e, for which LCI is a launch customer.
LCI announced almost US$1 billion of helicopter commitments at the HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California earlier this year shortly after KKR Financial Holdings agreed to invest more than $100 million its helicopter division to tap growing oil and gas sector demand.
Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a combined value of approaching US$6 billion.