LCI Helicopters to lease four AW139s to Westpac Rescue

Lease Corporation International (LCI) 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 2016 and will be equipped for EMS operations. The AgustaWestland AW139s 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 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.

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.

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Crispin Maunder, LCI executive chairman, 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 $1 billion in new orders at the HAI Heli-Expo in Anaheim, California, last year and has also attracted investment of more than $100 million from KKR Financial Holdings, to address growing oil and gas sector demand, as well as search and rescue and air ambulance services.

Since LCI started in 2004, the company has acquired fixed wing and rotary aircraft with a combined value of approaching $6 billion.

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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