Lease Corporation International (LCI), the aviation leasing arm of the Libra Group, has entered into a multi-year agreement to lease four new AW139 helicopters to Australia’s Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. The helicopters will be delivered in the second half of 2016 and, following fit-out for EMS operations, will be deployed in Northern New South Wales on contract to NSW Ambulance, on behalf of NSW Health within the Government of New South Wales.
The helicopters will be based in Newcastle, Tamworth and Lismore. The high-specification aircraft, including full medical and rescue equipment and winch, have been financed under a tripartite, 10-year arrangement with Westpac Banking Corporation, an existing financier of LCI and long-term naming rights sponsor of the helicopter operator.
Since 1975 the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has grown from a part-time, voluntary summer beach patrol to a world class aeromedical search and rescue operation, providing full EMS retrieval and transfer services. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is a not-for-profit, community-supported operation providing essential services throughout the northern NSW region.
The NSW Government has recently sought to improve its Helicopter Retrieval Network to deliver higher quality clinical care, faster and safer than before, and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service agreement with LCI to lease the versatile AW139 will further its abilities to achieve this.
LCI Executive Chairman Crispin Maunder says: “We are delighted in securing this new partnership that will help enhance NSW Health’s high standards, working closely with the NSW government. The new, high-performance AW139 aircraft will support them in those efforts and greatly benefit their work throughout the region.”
John Candy, Commercial Finance Manager at the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, adds: “We are excited to be working with LCI to upgrade our fleet. As we worked together on the NSW Health contract throughout 2014 that experience endorsed our choice of aircraft lessor in LCI, with their team going above and beyond to support our bid. As we celebrate 40 years of service this year, this new relationship with LCI and ongoing support from Westpac Banking Corporation is another reason to celebrate.”
LCI announced almost US$1 billion in new orders at the HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, last year and has also attracted investment of more than US$100 million from KKR Financial Holdings, LLC, to address growing oil and gas sector demand, as well as search and rescue and air ambulance services. Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a combined value of approaching US$6 billion.
About Lease Corporation International (LCI)
Since its inception in 2004, LCI has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a value of around US$6 billion. LCI is owned by Libra Group (www.libra.com), an international business group with 30 subsidiaries operating across five continents. Libra Group’s subsidiaries are primarily focused on aviation, shipping, hospitality, energy and real estate, along with selected diversified investments.
LCI’s helicopter division comprises a fleet of delivered and ordered helicopters approaching ninety new units, including the market-leading AgustaWestland AW139, AW169 and AW189 helicopters and next-generation Airbus Helicopters EC175 and the new Airbus EC225e, for which LCI is a launch customer. Its helicopters are currently in operation across five continents – Asia, Australasia, Africa and Europe.
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